248953 Evaluating parental perceptions of university students as agents of education

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ailton Coleman, MPH , Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Karina Lora, PhD , Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut Health Center, University of Connecticut, East Hartford, CT
Ann Ferris, PhD, RD , Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Introduction: The objective of this pilot study was to examine parental perceptions of students enrolled in a service learning community class as agents of education. Students provided education to parents in a theoretical-based behavior change intervention aimed to reduce overconsumption of sweetened beverages of minority preschool children for 10 weeks utilizing interactive display boards. Methods: First, a conceptual model of parental and student interaction was developed based on field observations. Next, a 12-question evaluation survey was developed to measure recruitment, engagement (motivation and availability), interaction of with the student educators (perceptions of (change), utilization of handouts, conceptualization of lessons provided and impact of re-enforcers used to convey the message, and post student interaction (behavior change). Pilot testing of the instrument was conducted in a sample of 31 parents at the end of the intervention in four schools in Hartford, CT. Results: Parents responded more to recruitment by students (73%) than to more traditional methods such as school staff members (10%), fliers and ads (7%), or peer referrals (3%). When given the opportunity to choose multiple agents of instruction, students (70%) were chosen more often than other health professionals (30%), peer educators (27%), teacher aides (14%) or community educators (10%). Parents also reported high levels of confidences in student messaging across varying themes. Conclusion: University students are effective in delivery health education in a school-based intervention.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
On completion of this lecture discussion, the participants should be able to: * Evaluate the role of university students in an educational intervention. * Demonstrate understanding in the area of developing service-learning strategies for preventing and managing childhood obesity at the community level. * Create strategies on training students as interventionist.

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Participated in data collection, interpretation, and dissemination of study results
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.