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Health Educ Res. 2005 Apr;20(2):128-36. Epub 2004 Aug 16.

Volunteer, lay tutors' experiences of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Course: being valued and adding value.

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Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Health, School of Health and Social Sciences, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK.


Chronic disease is a public health issue that could be addressed, in part, by increasing the ability of individuals to better manage their condition and its consequences on a day-to-day basis. One intervention designed to facilitate this is the Chronic Disease Self Management Course (CDSMC) that is delivered by volunteer, lay tutors who themselves have a chronic disease. Although there is growing evidence of course effectiveness for participants, the experiences of tutors have been neglected. This study aims to address this omission. Telephone interviews were conducted with 11 (six male) tutors: all interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Being a volunteer lay-tutor was perceived to be an enjoyable and valuable experience despite the challenges associated with course delivery, such as organizational demands and managing the diverse needs of mixed groups of chronic disease participants that led to a tension between disease-specific needs and the generic approach of the course. Being valued and adding value to the lives of others were key benefits of being a volunteer tutor, along with increased confidence that they were doing something positive for others. Course delivery prompted the initiation and maintenance of tutors' own self-management behaviours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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