Training in Mental Health: Evaluation of the Telephone Conference Network
The Telephone Conference Network, sponsored by The Pennsylvania State University's Coordinating Council for Health Care, is designed as a cost-effective format for providing inservice training in geriatric mental health for individuals who serve the elderly. Institutions which subscribe to the Telephone Conference Network are equipped with a conference speaker and telephone hook-up providing a two-way line of communication, and may choose from a variety of inservice programs. Mailed evaluations were completed by participants (N=73) in the "Skills to Manage Moods" program, a series of four 1-hour sessions designed to teach participants the skills needed to help patients cope with depression and to deliver the program to others. The majority of respondents reported high levels of satisfaction with the Telephone Conference Network system and the specific program in which they participated. Although 85 percent reported that they would be able to use the skills learned in the program on the job, 50 percent reported that they would not be interested in teaching these skills to others. The convenience and efficiency of the Telephone Conference Network were the most frequently mentioned strengths of the system, while the physical facilities and the program delivery format adopted by the individual institutions were the most frequently mentioned weaknesses. These data suggested several recommendations for Network subscribers and for professionals offering telephone conference programs, including ensuring optimal class enrollment and adequate physical facilities, and participant involvement in program implementation.
Connell, Christian M. and Smyer, Michael A.. "Training in Mental Health: Evaluation of the Telephone Conference Network." Gerontologist 26, no. 4 (1986) : 339-341.