The effects of different knowledge-dissemination interventions on the mastitis knowledge of Tanzanian smallholder dairy farmers
Bell, C. E., French, N. P., Karimuribo, E., Ogden, N. H., Bryant, M. J., Swai, E. M., Kambarage, D. M. and Fitzpatrick, J. L. (2005) The effects of different knowledge-dissemination interventions on the mastitis knowledge of Tanzanian smallholder dairy farmers. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 72 (3-4). pp. 237-251. ISSN 0167-5877
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2005.05.004
We developed three different knowledge-dissemination methods for educating Tanzanian smallholder farmers about mastitis in their dairy cattle. The effectiveness of these methods (and their combinations) was evaluated and quantified using a randomised controlled trial and multilevel statistical modelling. To our knowledge, this is the first study that has used such techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of different knowledge-dissemination interventions for adult learning in developing countries. Five different combinations of knowledge-dissemination method were compared: 'diagrammatic handout' ('HO'), 'village meeting' ('VM'), 'village meeting and video' ('VM + V), 'village meeting and diagrammatic handout' ('VM + HO') and 'village meeting, video and diagrammatic handout' ('VM + V + HO'). Smallholder dairy farmers were exposed to only one of these interventions, and the effectiveness of each was compared to a control ('C') group, who received no intervention. The mastitis knowledge of each farmer (n = 256) was evaluated by questionnaire both pre- and post-dissemination. Generalised linear mixed models were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the different interventions. The outcome variable considered was the probability of volunteering correct responses to mastitis questions post-dissemination, with 'village' and 'farmer' considered as random effects in the model. Results showed that all five interventions, 'HO' (odds ratio (OR) = 3.50, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 3.10, 3.96), 'VM + V + HO' (OR = 3.34, 95% CI = 2.94, 3.78), 'VM + HO, (OR=3.28, 95% CI=2.90, 3.71), WM+V (OR=3.22, 95% CI=2.84, 3.64) and 'VM' (OR = 2.61, 95% CI = 2.31, 2.95), were significantly (p < 0.0001) more effective at disseminating mastitis knowledge than no intervention. In addition, the 'VM' method was less effective at disseminating mastitis knowledge than other interventions. Combinations of methods showed no advantage over the diagrammatic handout alone. Other explanatory variables with significant positive associations on mastitis knowledge included education to secondary school level or higher, and having previously learned about mastitis by reading pamphlets or attendance at an animal-health course. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.