Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies

Specialization

Behavorial Sciences

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Karen McCurdy

Abstract

This study examined whether an educational mailing explaining Early Intervention services sent to pediatric health care providers would increase the number of referrals to those services. Data was collected from Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services describing the number of provider referrals four Rhode Island’s four core cities. An examination of the data using a difference in differences design, descriptive statistics, and t tests was utilized to determine if providers who received an educational mailing increased their number of referrals compared to the number of referrals made by providers who did not receive the mailing. While there was an increase in the number of referrals by the group that received the PEM, the control group providers also increased their number of referrals. As the comparison of the treatment group to the control group did not reveal a statistically significant difference in the number of referrals between the groups, the study hypothesis is not supported. This study contributed to the literature that does not support PEMS as a method for changing health care providers’ behaviors.

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