Evaluation of an occupational health education program among 11th grade students

Yehuda Lerman, Yehudit Feldman, Reuven Shnaps, Talma Kushnir, Joseph Ribak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is a paucity of publications on occupational health as part of the educational curricula in high schools. We investigated the extent to which a new occupational health education program for 11th graders succeeded in achieving changes in their knowledge and attitudes. Methods: Six classrooms were randomly assigned to either 96 participating students or to a control group (n = 100) that did not participate. Data on knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs were collected before and 4 months after completion of the course by means of an anonymous self-reported questionnaire. One point was assigned to each answer that was either correct or in the desired direction. Scoring was measured by adding up the points and then converting the total into a scale of 100. Results: The experimental group had a statistically higher mean score (from 24.56 to 80.74) after completing the course. The control group had low scores at both time 1 (20.15) and time 2 (17.00). At least 50% more students of the experimental group gave correct answer after the course, while there was no such change in the control group. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that occupational health learning can occur in the secondary school setting and confirm the program's effectiveness in achieving desired changes in the immediate outcome of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs in different areas of occupational health. The subject of occupational health is a topic with relevance to larger educational objectives and policies. In many countries all over the world as well as in Israel, this curriculum can potentially be integrated into the body of the current instruction of 'Life Abilities,' which are courses that cover topics that prepare the youngsters for adult lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Educational curricula
  • Health behavior
  • Occupational safety
  • Program effectiveness
  • Teaching

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