Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
A quality of service evaluation was designed collaboratively with listeners at a volunteer-run hotline, to promote the utilization of evaluation results. Listener use of empathy, talk time, and silence, and different types of verbal helping responses (e.g. advice, reflection of feeling) was examined through the use of 30 simulated calls placed to consenting listeners. While the second major focus of the evaluation, assessing the validity of listener self-rated performance as an evaluative technique, was not successful, a large number of performance gaps were identified. Contrary to expectations, listeners were directive in their helping orientation, often providing inappropriate or unhelpful advice and community referrals at the expense of attention to the affective states openly expressed by the caller. The findings are interpreted as demonstrating the need for competency-based volunteer training in specific helping skills.
Crocker, Peter John, "An evaluation of the quality of service at a volunteer-run telephone distress centre" (1985). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 512.