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Title: Using a cognitive model to support the design of training courses for physical tasks for enhanced knowledge transfer : the case of manual handling training
Author: Nicholls, Jacqueline Anne
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1997
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The experience of Low Back Pain (LBP) is associated with the manual handling of loads. The purpose of training workers to handle loads is to reduce the incidence of handling- related LBP. Training will only be effective if workers transfer taught knowledge from the training situation to the workplace. This thesis is concerned with demonstrating support to the process of designing an effective training programme, such that transfer is improved. To identify the scope of the problem, the effectiveness of a specific training programme was investigated. Physiotherapy students' compliance with training in classroom and workplace settings was compared. Comparison of students' behaviours in the workplace with those of experts revealed deficiencies in some of the students' cognitive behaviours, including their ability to plan their lifting manoeuvres. The data provided the basis for the development of a cognitive model of planning and control - the model of multiple activity control - patient-handling (MMAC-PH) - to support reasoning about enhancements to the training programme such that performance might be improved. The use of the model to support reasoning about possible enhancements to the training programme is explained. From the model's prescriptions, the development of a training programme enhanced by the addition of cognitive training is described. The enhanced training programme was empirically tested in two contexts, by comparing it to the addition of physical training. The first context was that of subjects without a recent previous experience of LBP, whereas the second, more general context, was that of subjects with recent experience of LBP. The results suggested that the model was effective in supporting the prescription of enhancements to the training programme which improve transfer. However, in terms of the differential effects of the prescriptions the findings are not entirely consistent with the model's predictions. Specifically, performance was unexpectedly enhanced with additional physical training. Possible explanations for inconsistencies are offered. The research offers support for the use of model-based reasoning to support the design of training programmes for physical tasks in order to reduce the problem of poor transfer. The main qualification relates to the granularity of the model in terms of its ability to completely discriminate between interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available