Effect of a maternity consumer representative training program on participants' confidence and engagement
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OBJECTIVE: This paper describes the effects of a maternity consumer representative training program on participants' confidence to fulfil this role and engagement in representative activities. METHODS: The present study was a descriptive, pre-post evaluation design with a 3-month follow-up. Fifty-eight people completed the program and 55 agreed to participate in the evaluation. Participants completed questionnaires to assess confidence to undertake consumer representative roles and reported on their engagement with consumer activities. RESULTS: Participants' perceived confidence to function in the role of consumer representative differed significantly before and after the workshop (F(2,18)=7.057, P<0.001), as did confidence in decision making (F(2,16)=7.615, P=0.005), confidence in negotiating outcomes and liaising with key people (F(2,18)=7.154, P=0.005), and confidence in making use of relevant networks (F(2,18)=4.319, P=0.029). There was a decline in confidence at 3 months, with confidence at this time no longer significantly different from that at the time of recruitment. Engagement with consumer organisations increased by 45% compared with rates at commencement of the project. CONCLUSIONS: The program enhanced participants' confidence to fulfil a maternity consumer representative role but was not sustained. Further research is needed as to how to best support maternity consumer representatives and assess their contribution to promoting woman-centred care.
Australian Health Review
© 2014 AHHA. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.