Date of Award

Winter 1985

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

John J. DeRolf

Committee Member

John L. Echternach

Committee Member

James R. K. Heinen

Committee Member

Robert H. MacDonald


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of training on the patient handling methods of nursing personnel. The study sought (1) to determine the effect of three class variables (Group, Session and Task) on behavioral performance, (2) to assess the influence of twelve organismic variables on behavioral performance, and (3) to determine the relationship between written exam scores and trainee behavioral performance.

Test and control groups were comprised of twelve and twenty-eight subjects, respectively. Behavioral performance in four specified tasks was determined via direct observation of individual subjects by trained observers using specific, dichotomously-measured behavioral criteria. Performance was recorded during three, two week sessions (prior to training, immediately following training and commencing six weeks post training). Additionally, each subject completed a questionnaire on organismic variables and trainees completed a written test on safe patient handling following program participation.

Data analysis using a Model I Analysis of Covariance revealed a significant interaction ((alpha) = .05) between class variables Group and Session suggesting training had both a desirable and lasting effect on the behavioral performance of trainees. Failure of any of the twelve organismic covariates to reach significance at the .05 level indicated that training had been effective for subjects regardless of their make up. Lastly, the finding that no significant correlation ((alpha) = .05) existed between written exam scores and behavioral performance suggested knowledge of techniques was not a valid predictor of subsequent workplace performance.

The findings of this study indicate that an educationally-oriented training program on safe manual handling methods can produce desirable and lasting behavioral changes in the patient lifting methods of nurses. To urban training directors this study provides (1) evidence in support of the continued use of training for producing behavioral changes in workers, (2) a format for developing an effective training program, and (3) a model for evaluating the behavioral outcomes of training.