Using senior volunteers as peer educators: What is the evidence of effectiveness in falls prevention? Academic Article uri icon


  • Peer education models are well established as a means of delivering health and social welfare information. Common themes identified in regard to peer education are that information sharing and transfer take place; attempts are made to influence knowledge, attitudes or behaviour; that it occurs between people who share similar characteristics or experiences; and that it relies on influential members of a social group or category. Although it is most often associated with younger age-groups, there is growing evidence of involvement of older people as peer educators. As part of community-based fall prevention interventions, there is considerable scope for contribution by peer mentors. This paper explores the theoretical basis for using senior volunteers as peer educators, discusses advantages and disadvantages of this model of service delivery for health promotion of older people and, specifically, reviews the evidence for effectiveness in relation to fall prevention.

publication date

  • March 2009