Transformative Learning Theory in Primary Health Care

Background: Health centres, which constitute the base of the primary health care system, need to shift the focus from providing care only, to prevention, promotion and health education. This can be achieved by implementing health promotion programmes with a multifaceted and integrated design that includes community analysis, identification of needs, setting goals, evaluating resources, clear description of methodology and evaluation. Aim: To investigate if and how an educational programme planned under the philosophy of transformative learning, can sensitize the health professionals working in a health centre to the utilization of participative teaching and training techniques. Method: The research was based on the principles of case study, with a sample consisting of 15 employers of a rural health centre in the Peloponnese. The duration of the survey was from February to September 2009. A three module programme was designed and executed and the adult educational techniques that were used were measured by both quantitative and qualitative methods (questionnaires and interviews). The improvement in the skills of the participants was assessed, in order to derive the maximum benefit from the active educational techniques during the planning and application of health promotion programmes. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: The valid percentage of the responses 100%. From the participants’ point of view the responses indicated that forms of education through active and participative techniques were used. The practice-simulation and the discussions employed were considered to be the most interesting techniques. The participants’ previous experience was used and they acquired new skills through this programme, which helped them to plan and apply more interventional community programmes. Conclusions: The training of health professionals by participative educational methods which use the experience of the community members is extremely important in achieving the successful application of health promotion programmes, especially for those who work in the primary health care system. Human behaviour is the most important factor in the preservation of the health of the population.

Category: Volume 50, N 2
Hits: 421 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2011
Authors: George Tsapalos , Panayotis Prezerakos , Evagelia Kotrotsiou , Ioanna Papathanasiou , Maria Gouva