S25: Making evaluation count: The challenges of evaluating health outcomes from health promotion activities.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Ellen McNaught

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Research & Evaluation Informing Practice,Comorbidity

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: It is widely known that people living with mental illness have a shortened life expectancy by up to thirty per cent (World Health Organisation, 2013) with this divergence increasing over recent decades. This increased risk of early mortality is mostly attributable to preventable physical disease.

Since 2010 when Neami national employed Health Promotion staff, we have developed a Health Promotion Framework and delivered a range of initiatives around key priority areas including tobacco management, oral health, diabetes and health screening.

Consumers say the initiatives work, but our current challenge is to find ways to effectively evaluate program impact. We could pursue a biomedical outcomes approach, but understand that health promotion should function as a tool to both measure changes and facilitate positive health outcomes (Koelen, Vaandrager & Colmer, 2001). WHO recommends that health program evaluations should involve participation by people with direct interest in the initiative, and cite participation and empowerment as key principles of health promotion.

With this in mind, we share our intention, and experience, of co-designing an evaluation process that enables understanding of health impacts resulting from Neami health promotion initiatives, and results in consumers experiencing positive health outcomes through the process?

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain an understanding of a) the complexities around measuring health impacts as a result of health promotion activities, and b) how a co-designed evaluation process can look.

Learning Objective 2: The increasing life expectancy gap for people living with a mental illness as a result of preventable disease has relevance to all mental health services. Evidence of effectiveness is routinely asked for in the design and delivery of initiatives and services. Understanding what evidence can be gathered and in what way, and the place for co-design in this process is increasingly important.

Koelen, M. A., Vaandrager, L., & Colomér, C. (2001). Health promotion research: dilemmas and challenges. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55(4), 257-262.
World Health Organisation (2013). Health promotion evaluation: Recommendations to policy-makers. Report of the WHO European Working Group on Health Promotion Evaluation. WHO Regional Office for Europe: Copenhagen

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