Date of Award

12-1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Human Ecology

Major Professor

Vey M. Nordquist

Committee Members

Reid Tatum, Susan Benner, Debbie Tegano, Melinda Lucas, Jo Lynn Cunningham

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate experimentally the combined effects of an information package comprised of a written pamphlet and a videotape on physicians' knowledge about federal law and its implication for making referrals to early intervention programs. There were 38 physicians with practice located in a 16-county region of East Tennessee who participated in the study. Physicians were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Physicians assigned to the experimental group received the information package and the Physicians' Knowledge and Practice Questionnaire. Physicians in this group were given 2 weeks to review the materials and complete and return the questionnaire. Physicians assigned to the control group received only the Physicians' Knowledge and Practice Questionnaire. The also had 2 weeks to complete and return the questionnaire. Results of a one-way ANOVA revealed a difference between the total knowledge scores of physicians in the two groups; the knowledge score of physicians in the experimental group was higher than the score of physicians in the control group. Data gathered from the TEIS child find directory indicated that, after the information package was distributed to physicians, there was a dramatic increase in the number of new referrals to TEIS. There were 14 new referrals made to TEIS by physicians who participated in the study. Of these 14 referrals, 10 were made by 6 physicians in the experimental group and 2 referrals were made by 1 physician in the control group. Results of a t test indicated that there was a significant difference between groups in the number of new referrals. Taken together, the knowledge and referral data indicated that the information package was a useful means of informing physicians about the law, and services for children with special needs and also changing their referral practices to TEIS.

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