Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Suicide Prevention Training Program for Nurses’ Continuing Education
Palisoc, Jennylynn F
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Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of a suicide prevention training program for increasing participants’ knowledge related to assessment, treatment, and management of individuals at risk for suicide. Additional aims were to compare the in-person and online training formats, assess training satisfaction, and explore themes of reflections and themes in application of training. Design: Cross-sectional, two-group, pre-test/post-test design to evaluate performance on knowledge test. In-person participants enrolled September 2016 to October 2017, online participants enrolled November 2016 to February 2018. Content analysis was used to identify themes in participants’ responses to open-ended questions. Setting: The online training was available on the University of Washington Continuing Nursing Education (UW CNE) website. In-person training sessions were conducted at conference centers in Seattle. Subjects: Convenience sampling for recruitment. Knowledge test responses: Total N=2,107; Online n=1,642; In-person n=465. Evaluation survey responses: Total N=2,088; Online n=1,452; In-person n=636. Qualitative “ah-ha!” question responses: Total N=50; Online n=29; In-person n=21. Population of interest were registered nurses in Washington State affected by the mandatory suicide prevention training requirement; training was not restricted to this group. Intervention: UW CNE collaborated with subject matter experts to develop suicide prevention training for registered nurses that fulfilled Washington State Department of Health’s required content areas. The training was offered in both in-person and online formats. Participants self-selected into the online or in-person version of the six-hour, suicide prevention training. Primary outcome measures: Mean pre-test, post-test, and change in score on the knowledge test. Training satisfaction ratings. Themes of applying of training to practice and reflections on training. Results: For both training formats, there were considerable gains in knowledge, when examining each knowledge test item. The mean difference in pre-test scores between the in-person and online formats was not significantly different (t=1.79, p=0.074), nor was the difference between pre-test and post-test scores (t=0.42, p=0.677). In both formats, the majority of participants rated teaching effectiveness highly and the overall course as “excellent.” Effective communication, adjusting personal attitudes, and knowledge of resources were themes from qualitative responses on applying training to practice. Themes from “ah-ha!” responses indicated positive outcomes of the training on nurses’ practice, attitudes, individual development, and ability to impact others. Conclusions: Participants exhibited comparable increases in knowledge across both formats. The majority rated the training as effective in delivery and in addressing learning aims. The study was limited in access to demographic variables and restricted by one observational time point for assessing knowledge.
- Nursing - Seattle