Author: Wong, Pui-kwan Anita
Title: A comparison of effectiveness in hand washing technique using computer assisted teaching (CAT) method and conventional teaching method among children with mental retardation (MR)
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Hand washing.
Children with mental disabilities -- Health and hygiene.
Health education -- Computer-assisted instruction.
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: viii, 175 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: Background Hand washing is widely accepted as a key element of preventing spread of infection. Despite numerous studies published on hand washing, very little has been targeted on mentally retarded people. Mentally retarded children are perceived to be high risk group for suffering from infectious disease. If mentally retarded children are able to master hand washing skills earlier, the chances of being infected would be lowered, which would be beneficial to the children themselves and society as a whole. Although hand washing is taught in special schools, there have still been outbreaks of infectious diseases in those schools within the past 10 years, for reasons as yet unidentified. Teaching methods are believed to affect students' learning performance and learning motivation. Since the computer assisted teaching method is used widely in teaching Mathematics in special schools. It is believed that the computer might also help in teaching hand washing for children with mental retardation. Purpose This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of computer assisted teaching (CAT) method and conventional teaching method. It also attempted to explore the relationship between different teaching methods and the associated learning motivation. Furthermore, through an analysis of these results, this study aimed to identify the most appropriate teaching method for this group of children. Method An experimental study was conducted to explore the effectiveness of various hand washing (HW) teaching methods. Conventional teaching method and computer assisted teaching methods were first developed and then used to teach the students. Twenty-nine students were recruited as subjects. The control group consisted of 19 students and study group comprised 10 students. Subjects in the two groups were recruited from two different special schools. Written consent was obtained from parents and pre-test data collected before the program began. The demographic data questionnaire was attached to the student hand book and distributed to parents of the students. The data collecting team collected the data by using the modified HW checklist and learning motivation questionnaire. Level of cleanliness of hands after hand washing was assessed by using the fluorescent stain, digital camera, electrical balance and an ultra-violet light photo taking box. HW process time was recorded with a stop watch. Following baseline data collection, the education program began. The teaching team, which had different team members from data collecting team, was responsible for teaching HW technique to the mentally retarded students. Each school was assigned a single teaching method: the control group school was assigned the conventional teaching method and the study group school used the computer assisted teaching method. HW teaching lessons were arranged at least once per week with a maximum two lessons weekly for each class. Altogether there were 5 classes to teach. Individual education records were kept for all students to facilitate progress monitoring. When 70% of the students achieved the successful criteria for HW, the post-test data were collected. The same data collecting tools were administered and post-test data was obtained. Results were then input into the computer and analyzed by using The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15.0 for Windows. Results Among twenty-nine participants, 15 (51.7%) were male and 14 (48.3%) were female. No significant differences were suggested in age, classes attended, disease, deficiency, learning deficiency, living environment and caregivers' information among two groups. Before the hand washing teaching program began, both groups attained approximately 4 marks for their total HW score. Scores increase to around 8 in the control and experimental group. The learning motivation score change was minimal after learning HW. For the experimental group, change was 1.60 (t (10) =1.783, p=0.108) and for the control group, 1.15 (t (19) =-1.256, p=0.225) change in score was noted. Control group students could wash approximately 27% of the stain away before being taught by pupil nurses about HW. Significant improvement was noted after the training, with nearly 56% of the stain washed away. In the experimental group 12% of the stain was washed away in the pre-test and there was significant improvement after the HW intervention, with approximately 60% (t=-5.597, p<0.001) of the stain washed away. Time and soap consumption for HW was significantly increased after the education program. The results supported the idea that increased HW time would lead to increased soap usage and successful completion of a greater number of HW tasks. The results also demonstrated that older students did better in HW. Also, the more time students and parents spent together, the more dependent the MR students became and therefore they were less motivated by various HW teaching methods. . Conclusion Both CAT and conventional methods were useful in promoting HW among groups. The learning motivations were not statistically different among groups. Improvement was noted in both control and experimental group in level of cleanliness of hands after HW training. The palm to palm and turn off of faucets without contaminating the hands were stated as the parts often missed in HW, even with the education program and therefore these HW skills should be strengthened. When comparing the cost and effectiveness of both methods, they both showed strengths and weakness. In the long-run, the researcher recommended to use the CAT method to teach HW to MR students because the method saved manpower and was more attractive to students. However, if in the developing countries there may not be enough money to develop and maintain the program, the conventional teaching method offers a useful alternative.
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