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Table 4 Core elements of the Popular Opinion Leader (POL) intervention (adapted from Kelly et al. 1991)

From: Using opinion leaders to address intervention gaps in concussion prevention in youth sports: key concepts and foundational theory

1 Direct the intervention to an identifiable target population in well-defined community setting where population’s size can be estimated
2 Use ethnographic techniques systematically to identify those persons who are most popular, influential, and trusted by others (i.e., conduct community identification)
3 Over life of program, train 15% of the target population as opinion leaders
4 Teach opinion leaders skills for initiating risk-reduction messages to peers during everyday conversations
5 Teach opinion leaders characteristics of effective behavior change communication targeting risk-reduction attitudes, norms, intentions, and self-efficacy; have opinion leaders endorse, in conversations, the benefits of safer behavior and recommend practical steps needed to implement change
6 Hold weekly meetings of groups of opinion leaders in sessions that use instruction, facilitator modeling, and extensive role-playing exercises to help opinion leaders refine their skills and gain confidence in delivering effective HIV prevention messages to others
7 Have opinion leaders set goals to engage in risk-reduction conversations with friends and acquaintances in the target population between weekly sessions
8 Review, discuss, and reinforce outcomes of opinion leaders’ conversations at subsequent training sessions
9 Use logos, symbols, or other devices as conversation starters between the opinion leaders and others