|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 106-108
Evaluation of training program “Basic concepts of occupational health” for students of Diploma in Sanitary Inspector Course and way forward
Ankit Prabhubhai Viramgami, Harsiddha Gulabdas Sadhu
Division of Clinical Epidemiology, ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
|Date of Web Publication||1-Oct-2018|
Dr. Ankit Prabhubhai Viramgami
CMR-National Institute of Occupational Health, Near Metal Cross Road, Meghaninagar, Ahmedabad - 380 016, Gujarat
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: India requires massive numbers of occupational health experts for identifying and catering to the occupational health needs of more than 400-million workforce; however, in the absence of sufficient number of experts, it is important to sensitize and educate different groups of students and workforces regarding various aspects of occupational health. In the same context, a training program for the students of Diploma in Sanitary Inspector was arranged at the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH). Aim: To assess the effectiveness of the training program in terms of gain in knowledge and imparting training programs more effectively in future. Methods: Examinations in the form of pretest and post test were conducted during training program for 920 participating students. Mean, standard deviation, and test of significance were applied using SPSS software. Result: Significant improvement in the mean test score after the training program was observed. Improvement in the mean score showed significant difference regarding age and educational qualifications but not with gender. Conclusion: Results enabled us to identify weak areas of the program where lesser improvement in knowledge was observed, which require more emphasis in future workshops for achieving efficient productive outcomes.
Keywords: Evaluation, occupational health, training programme
|How to cite this article:|
Viramgami AP, Sadhu HG. Evaluation of training program “Basic concepts of occupational health” for students of Diploma in Sanitary Inspector Course and way forward. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2018;22:106-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Viramgami AP, Sadhu HG. Evaluation of training program “Basic concepts of occupational health” for students of Diploma in Sanitary Inspector Course and way forward. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Apr 22];22:106-8. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2018/22/2/106/242546
| Introduction|| |
As a developing country, India has shown enormous growth in the field of industrialization and has over 400-million workforce involved in organized and unorganized sectors of the country. As variable degree of hazards are present in the work environment, workers are prone to develop occupational diseases. To identify and address the health needs of the working population, a large pool of occupational physicians and industrial hygienists is required. Currently, India is grossly lagging behind in accomplishing this goal as it has around 1000 qualified occupational health professionals and only about 100 qualified hygienists. Considering that every year about 460 specialists are trained by nearly 21 institutes, it will take years to fill this large gap. As a temporary solution for identifying occupational diseases and generate awareness among different stakeholders, sensitization and awareness activities are needed in different student groups. The groups of students who are going to work in close association with the working population include sanitary inspector, medical students, multipurpose worker (MPW) students, nursing students, industrial hygienist students, etc. The National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) is an apex institute of the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) working for years with the motive of conducting research and providing technical support and teaching activities in the field of occupational health. As a part of the educational curriculum, different groups of students visit NIOH for getting a glimpse of the importance of occupational health and NIOH's activities. In the same context, NIOH arranges half-day training programs for Diploma Sanitary Inspector (Diploma S. I.) students for teaching and sensitization in the field of occupational health. During the same training programme, examination of students is conducted in the form of pretest and posttest examination with the following objectives: (1) To assess the improvement of occupational health knowledge during the training programme and (2) to identify the key areas of training programs which need to be strengthened.
| Subjects and Methods|| |
In August 2017, over a period of 11 days approximately 1100 students of Diploma S. I. from the All India Institute of Local Self Governance Ahmedabad attended a half-day occupational health training programme at ICMR-NIOH as a part of their educational curriculum. Agenda of the training program was planned considering the curriculum of Diploma S. I. students which included various aspects of occupational health, viz. introduction to occupational health, different type of hazards, disease preventive strategies, ergonomic principles, social security schemes for workers, etc., For conducting pretest and posttest examinations, close-ended prestandardized questionnaire was formulated based on the training agenda. The questionnaire had a maximum score of 15 and a minimum score of 0 based on correct responses from participants. Each day after briefly explaining the purpose of the training program, students were explained the pretest and posttest. After obtaining informed verbal consent of students and documenting basic details of participants, self-explanatory questionnaires were administered to individual students. On completion of pretest, a series of sessions as per the schedule were delivered to the students. Sessions were based on occupational health curriculum. To make the sessions interesting and for delivering them uniformly, they were standardized in the form of Hindi/English language powerpoint presentation and audiovisual films. On completion of all planned sessions, participants were further administered the same questionnaire as posttest. Only the students who attended both tests were considered for statistical evaluation. Appropriate statistical tests such as mean, proportion, and nonparametric test were performed using the SPSS software version 17.0 (IBM, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL).
| Results|| |
In total, 920 students attended the training program, and 863 students participated in the pretest and posttest.
As per [Table 1], a high proportion (59.2%) of students were below 22 years of age whereas only 2.1% students were above 30 years of age. A major proportion (87.8%) of students were males while female students were constituted only 12.2% of the participants. Educational distribution showed that approximately 83% students were only twelfth pass (66%) or arts graduate (17.2%), whereas a lesser proportion of students were commerce (13.2%) and science graduates (3.6%).
According to [Table 2], topic-wise difference of pretest and posttest response showed that, after completion of training program, three topics viz. sickness absenteeism, occupational disease prevention, and occupational hazards showed low improvement 21.8%, 46.0%, and 47.1%, respectively. However, topics such as occupational hygiene, basics of occupational health, social security schemes, and basic concepts of ergonomics showed higher improvement: 58.7%, 62.0%, 62.3%, and 63.3%, respectively.
|Table 2: Topic wise pre- and post-test difference in proportion (original)|
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[Table 3] shows that at the time of pretest, there was no statistical significant difference in baseline knowledge according to age and sex; however, based on the educational status, arts graduates had a higher mean score which was statistically not significant. Results of posttest showed that, with increase in age and educational level, mean score improved, which was also significant statistically, whereas based on sex distribution, mean score was not statistically significant.
|Table 3: Distribution of mean score based on different variable (original)|
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[Table 4] shows that for 863 participants mean pretest and posttest score were 2.82 and 10.69, respectively. Moreover, mean improvement of 7.87 score after teaching session was noted, which was also statistically significant.
|Table 4: Mean pre- and post-test difference among participants (original)|
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| Discussion|| |
Out of the topics covered in the program, three topics viz. sickness absenteeism, occupational disease prevention, and occupational hazards showed less improvement, suggesting that session contents and delivery method for these topics need to improve for better understanding among students. As lower proportion of female students (12.2%) were studying for the SI course, there was no significant gender difference for pretest and posttest, which suggests that both genders should equally be promoted for choosing occupational health from a future job perspective. However, pretest had no mean score difference according to age, posttest results suggested that, with increase in age, mean score also increased which might be because of increase in maturity and seriousness. Further, study results suggest that improvement in mean score of commerce and science graduates were more, which was suggestive of good understanding and grasping power of SI course-related topics by the students. Lesser improvement in the mean score among arts graduates (8.71) and twelfth pass (7.06) students might be because the sessions were in Hindi/English, and their limited knowledge of language made it difficult to grasp each topic. This problem could be avoided by arranging batches of homogeneous educational group students and addressing sessions in easier, elaborative, and favorable language, especially for arts graduates and twelfth pass students. After completion of training sessions, mean improvement of 7.87 score was noted, which is suggestive of improvement in occupational health-related knowledge among students. With constraints of time, the institute was unable to arrange full-day training sessions with a small batch size (25–30 students), which requires 40 days to complete all batches; this was one of the limitation of the training program, as with large batch size (~83 students per batch) interactive learning sessions were not possible.
| Conclusion|| |
After completion of the training session, improvement in occupational health-related knowledge among the students was found, but for imparting training in a more effective manner, the program should be planned in a small batch size for full day with homogenous educational student groups considering their favorable language. We have identified weaker areas of the training sessions, which require more emphasis and focus for better transformation of knowledge among students.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Zodpey SP, Negandhi H, Tiwari RR. Mapping 'occupational health' courses in India: A systematic review. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2009;13:135-40.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]