Lay health worker as interventionist training: reflective writing in US family health promotion practice

Sonja J. Meiers, Evan Dyce, Mark L. Wieland, Christi Patten, Matthew M. Clark, Marcelo M.K. Hanza, Carrie Bronars, Julie A. Nigon, Irene G. Sia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lay health worker-led health promotion interventions are well received within racial and ethnic minority communities. Increasing numbers of trained lay health workers will be needed to meet global health goals. The purpose of this process evaluation was to gain insights about how lay health worker as interventionists used theory-based approaches within a nutrition and physical activity health behavior change intervention in a clinical trial enrolling immigrant and refugee families. Data were comprised of ongoing reflective writing statements from four health workers about their implementation of the intervention. Using content analysis three themes emerged: (i) encouraging setting of small, family focused and relevant goals, (ii) being flexible in content delivery and (iii) being personally transformed (i.e. gained a sense of meaning from their experience). Lay health worker interventionist reflections on practice revealed they delivered the intervention within the primacy of the family partnering relationship by attending to unique family needs, and adjusting educational content and goal setting accordingly. Our results provide guidance for training and process evaluation of lay health worker intervention delivery in ethnically and racially diverse populations. Incorporating real-time reflection upon what was learned about skills of facilitating family motivation and family confidence enhanced affective learning and may be useful in future research studies and health promotion practice. The processes identified including setting small goals, flexibility and personal transformation could be considered in future lay health worker-delivered health promotion interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1739-1752
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • family health
  • health behavior change
  • lay health worker
  • lay interventionist
  • reflective writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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