Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Betty L. Beach

Committee Members

Alfred D. Grant, Mary Jo Hitchcock, Grayce E. Goertz


An instructional model was developed and implemented for the introductory application of employee counseling techniques by 17 senior students in the Coordinated Undergraduate Program in Dietetics at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lack of experience in employee counseling during the clinical practicum was noted. The model as a substitution for actual experience combined as a microteaching approach, referred to as an intensive workshop, utilizing videotape simulation of employee counseling situations with a coached counselee. Five evaluation instruments were developed.

Students were released from clinical facilities for one week to participate in the intensive counseling workshop to practice counseling situations. A profile questionnaire was completed indicating previous experience both with counseling and videotaping. The Self-Perception of Confidence (SPOC) scale describing feelings of confidence in handling various employee situations was completed by students both before and after participation in the workshop. A hypothetical employee situation that required employee counseling but not dismissal of the employee was role played by each student while being videotaped with a coached counselee playing the part of the employee. Pre- and post-workshop videotapes were produced by each student. The pre-workshop videotape was used by clinical instructors and small groups of students to critique the employee counseling performance using the Checklist for Counseling, Indirect Patient Care which had been tested for content validity and interrater reliability. After the week was completed, participants submitted an evaluation of the workshop.

A team of experts consisting of five clinical instructors each randomly viewed all 34 situations without knowledge of which were taped before instruction and which were taped after instruction. Twelve students improved in verbal communication, 7 in nonverbal communication, 10 in interpersonal relationships, 11 in organization and 11 in application of knowledge. Application of the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test showed a significant positive change in verbal communication and application of knowledge. Other areas were insignificant. The composite score for each student showed 11 students had improved significantly and a general trend for improvement in all areas was noted.

Within workshop groups using the Checklist for Counseling also indicated general improvement in all areas. All students improved in percentage composite scores ranging from 1 percentage point to 13 percentage points with an average increase of 8 percentage points difference from the first to the second videotaped situation.

SPOC scores indicated the students generally felt more confident in handling various employee situations after having participated in the workshop. A particular gain in confidence was noted for handling negative situations such as reprimanding an employee.

Profile data had little correlation with performance although the cosmetic effect was experienced by students when viewing the first videotape as would be expected when only 5 of the 17 students had previously seen themselves on television before.

Three impartial technical experts each randomly viewed 16 of the taped situations for audio, video, and overall quality. Tapes were considered average or above average by 94% of the responses.

Workshop evaluations indicated students felt the workshop was beneficial and wanted the techniques expanded to include other aspects of dietetic professional education.

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