Effects of a peer-led senior health education program

P. L. Kocken*, A. J.J. Voorham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


The effect of a health education course guided by peers aged 55 and over was evaluated. The aim of the course was to empower older adults to participate in society and to promote their wellbeing. Evaluation included determining the effect on attitude toward aging, self-efficacy, perception of the societal opinion regarding the place of the elderly in society (social influence), social participation, perceived social support, and wellbeing of the participants aged 55 to 79 years. A quasi-experimental approach was used. The effect on the experimental group of course participants was studied compared to a control group of older adults on the waiting list. The respondents filled out postal questionnaires at three time points (before starting the course (t0), immediately after termination (t1) and three months later (t2)). Using a multivariate analysis procedure, a significant interaction effect between time of measurement and group membership was found with respect to the outcome of social influence. At t1 an effect was absent, but at t2, the current idea that elderly occupy a marginal position in society, found less favour with the experimental group than the control group. Moreover perceived social support and subjective health improved significantly at t1 and t2 among the course members, when compared to the control group. No effect was found on attitude, self-efficacy, social participation and wellbeing in the short time span of a three months follow- up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1998


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