Effect of Educational Module on Knowledge of Primary School Teachers regarding Early Symptoms of Childhood Psychiatric Disorders

By Daniel, Liza; Gupta, Sandhya et al. | Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, October-December 2013 | Go to article overview

Effect of Educational Module on Knowledge of Primary School Teachers regarding Early Symptoms of Childhood Psychiatric Disorders


Daniel, Liza, Gupta, Sandhya, Sagar, Rajesh, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine


Byline: Liza. Daniel, Sandhya. Gupta, Rajesh. Sagar

Context: University-based pre-service educational programs do not adequately prepare the teachers to have sufficient knowledge and skill for identifying a wide variety of symptoms related to mental health disorders among children. Aims: To assess the effect of educational module on knowledge of primary school teachers regarding early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders. Settings and Design: A pre experimental study on a sample of 35 primary school teachers was done in selected schools of Delhi. Materials and Methods: Self-instructional module on early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders (SIM on ESCD) was developed. Data was collected by using standardized tools including the structured questionnaire for 'Demographic and selected variables' and pre-test knowledge questionnaire. The subjects were exposed to SIM on ESCD for a period of 15 days. Knowledge regarding early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders was assessed twice, first one being before exposure to module and the next one on 16 [sup]th day of exposure to module. Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using statistical package STATA 9.0 version. Results: Primary school teachers who have been teaching in government schools had high pre-test knowledge score than that in private sector. There was significant difference in mean knowledge score of primary school teachers before (9.71) and after (15.60) the administration of SIM on ESCD. Younger teachers and those who had less years of teaching experience had more knowledge gain score than those who were older and had more teaching experience. Conclusions: In the absence of adequate pre-service and in-service education of primary school teachers on early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders, SIM on ESCD is a highly effective and viable method for improving primary school teachers' knowledge on early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders.

Introduction

The global burden of disease indicates that by the year 2020, childhood neuropsychiatric disorders will increase by more than 50% internationally to become one of the five most common causes of morbidity and disability among children. An exploratory study on adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in India revealed that children who are diagnosed with ADHD grow up and become an adult patient of ADHD. Identifying them early and treating them would reduce the burden of this disorder and may help in better treatment of the co-morbid conditions in these patients. [sup][1] Similarly, if learning disabilities are not picked up at an earlier stage and case-appropriate management strategies are not adopted, there is a possibility of worsening of the child's academic and social functioning. [sup][2]

Early identification and intervention have shown better prognosis in a number of childhood psychiatric disorders including disruptive and autistic spectrum disorders. Therefore, it is important to sensitize the teachers about childhood psychiatric disorders and make them understand and utilize their crucial role in early identification of problems and early referral. University-based pre-service educational programs do not adequately prepare the teachers to have sufficient knowledge and skill for identifying a wide variety of symptoms related to mental health disorders. [sup][3] Hence, this study was undertaken to find out the possibility of improving knowledge of primary school teachers on early identification of childhood psychiatric disorders. The objectives of the study were (1) To assess the knowledge of primary school teachers regarding early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders before and after the administration of self instructional module on early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders (SIM on ESCD). (2) To find out the association between knowledge gain score of primary school teachers regarding early symptoms of childhood psychiatric disorders and selected variables. …

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