Exploratory study of the effectiveness of the parent education conference method on child health
In the study which examined the child health conference as an individual method of adult education, evaluations were made of both the nurse instructor and parent-participant relationships and the gains made by parent participants in their knowledge of general health information, developmental milestones and mother-infant relationships during their period of attendance at the conferences. It was hypothesized that there would be no statistically significant mean equivalences between the first and
... tween the first and final test scores for the 32 parents who comprised the study population. The hypotheses were rejected with values of t which were significant beyond the 0.001 level. Despite the significant gains recorded, it would appear that a number of major factors presently limit the conferences' efficiency in providing optimal conditions under which learning may occur. First, an assessment of the educational needs or expectations of each parent is not undertaken at the beginning of each conference and learning objectives appropriate to each individual participant are not set up. Second, the conference does not presently specify educational objectives in terms of desired behaviors and therefore, health teaching is not only relegated a more minor role, but participants are, forced to become mere passive recipients of information. Third, the conference may not always reach its present broad goals because appointments made by the nurse for the parent-participant to return for further discussions may be broken. While it was felt that the research instruments used in this study met the requirements for which they were constructed to some degree, they could undoubtedly have been much more effective measuring devices had steps been taken to increase their reliability, validity, objectivity, comprehensiveness and differentiation. Moreover, rating scale errors could have been minimized had nurses been trained in their proper use.