Improving developmental and educational support for children born preterm: Evaluation of an e-learning resource for education professionals

Samantha Johnson, Deborah Bamber, Vasiliki Bountziouka, Sarah Clayton, Lucy Cragg, Camilla Gilmore, Rose Griffiths, Neil Marlow, Victoria Simms, Heather Wharrad

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2 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives Children born preterm are at higher risk for special educational needs and poor academic attainment compared with term-born peers, yet education professionals receive limited training and have poor knowledge of preterm birth. We have developed an interactive e-learning resource and evaluated its efficacy in improving teachers' knowledge of preterm birth and their confidence in supporting the learning of children born preterm. Setting Eight primary, infant or junior schools in England. Participants 61 teachers of children aged 4-11 years, of which 55 (90%) were female. Intervention Interactive e-learning resource designed to improve education professionals' knowledge of long-term outcomes following preterm birth and strategies that can be used to support children's learning (www.pretermbirth.info). In a repeated measures design, participants were given up to 30 days access to the e-learning resource, before and after which they completed the Preterm Birth Knowledge Scale (PB-KS; scores 0-33; higher scores indicate greater knowledge) to assess knowledge of outcomes of prematurity. Four Likert scale items were used to assess confidence in supporting children's learning and 10 items were used to evaluate the utility of the resource. PB-KS scores and responses on confidence item were compared pre-resource and post-resource use. Results PB-KS scores significantly increased after accessing the e-learning resource (median (95% CI): pre-resource 13 (11 to 14); post-resource 29 (28 to 30)), equating to a 2.6 SD increase in PB-KS scores. Teachers' confidence in supporting children born preterm was also significantly improved after using the resource. The utility of the resource was evaluated positively by participants with 97% reporting that they would recommend its use to others. Conclusions The e-learning resource substantially improved teachers' knowledge of preterm birth and their confidence in supporting preterm children in the classroom. Use of this resource may represent a key advance in improving educational outcomes for children born preterm.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere029720
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • preterm birth
  • special educational needs
  • development
  • education
  • E-learning resource

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    Johnson, S., Bamber, D., Bountziouka, V., Clayton, S., Cragg, L., Gilmore, C., Griffiths, R., Marlow, N., Simms, V., & Wharrad, H. (2019). Improving developmental and educational support for children born preterm: Evaluation of an e-learning resource for education professionals. BMJ Open, 9(6), 1-8. [e029720]. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029720