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Zambian Health Education Using Supercourse(ZHEUS): The Effectiveness of a Computer-based Learning Resource Among Healthcare Professionals in the Southern Province of Zambia

Freese, Kyle (2012) Zambian Health Education Using Supercourse(ZHEUS): The Effectiveness of a Computer-based Learning Resource Among Healthcare Professionals in the Southern Province of Zambia. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study was to introduce and evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based learning resource (Supercourse) among rural healthcare professionals in the Southern Province of Zambia. This is the first field evaluation of Supercourse.
Supercourse is a free, online, open-access repository of global health and prevention PowerPoint lectures and can be accessed at It is a way for members of the scientific community to disseminate and share knowledge with each other. While Supercourse has gained popularity in many nations, its viability is not known in a developing setting such as Zambia. This investigation aimed to examine Supercourse’s viability as a learning resource in rural Zambia.
A series of three lectures was provided to 41 healthcare professionals, reporting backgrounds of nursing, midwifery, dentistry, clinical support, and pharmacy. Participants completed a pre- and post-test on topics including: male circumcision and its relationship to HIV transmission, public health approaches to cataract treatment, and general global health awareness. Qualitative feedback to gauge the real-world viability of Supercourse as a resource was gathered via small focus groups.
Participants showed a 27.7% increase in knowledge from pre- to post-test (p<0.001). Midwives increased their scores to the greatest degree, with a mean improvement of 37.5% (p<0.02). Participants improved the greatest deal on questions relating to global health (42%, p<0.001). Focus group responses resulted in several themes. The majority of participants enjoyed learning information in the Supercourse format; they enjoyed the combination of visual and verbal presentation. While effective, participants expressed concern over their lack of computer literacy and commonly noted a need for improved technological infrastructure within their places of work.
This program significantly increased participants’ knowledge regarding male circumcision, cataract, and global health. Because of the small sample size, this information may not be generalizable to the entire Zambian population, but the results gathered warrant further investigation. This investigation has several relevant implications for the field of public health. Most of all, improving access to educational materials can, in fact, increase knowledge of important health topics in a resource poor environment among an underserved population.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairStall, Ronrstall@pitt.eduRSTALL
Committee MemberDocumet,
Committee MemberLaPorte,
Date: 30 January 2012
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 December 2011
Approval Date: 30 January 2012
Submission Date: 30 November 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 84
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa, Internet, Zambia, Supercourse, Education, Health Education, Healthcare, Southern Province, Pre test, Post test,
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2012 19:04
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:55

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