Usage and impact of an online education tool for preventing sudden unexpected death in infancy.

J Paediatr Child Health 2013 Mar 26;49(3):228-32. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Change for our Children, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Aim: This paper describes the usage, impact and reach of an online education tool for preventing sudden infant death.

Methods: A 24-slide presentation was formatted for online access. Content was designed for mainstream audiences to align current knowledge, attitudes and actions for a blitz approach to preventing sudden infant death in New Zealand (NZ). The tool was promoted through a network of 'safe sleep' champions across the country and collected basic information on usage, reach and impact.

Results: From 3286 completed online sessions between 18 November 2009 and 31 December 2011, there were 2683 (81.7%) with complete data. Average usage was 24.4 completed sessions/week, over a 2-year period, at a cost of NZD1.11 per completed session. Usage reached across regions, ethnic groups and roles. On completion of the course, most rated highly (7-9/9) (68.8%) their 'increased confidence' to discuss infant sleep safety with others. A high increased confidence rating was significantly influenced by spending more time per slide (P < 0.05) and being Maori, Pacific, Asian or 'other' compared with NZ European (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: This simple online education tool achieved its aims of high usage, broad participation and cost-effective impact on increasing confidence to discuss infant sleep safety with others. e-Learning modes should be considered where there is a need to align large numbers of people in a short time with understandings and actions for addressing a specific health issue.

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