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5. Evaluate the impact of implemented self-care strategies

5
Evaluate the impact of implemented self-care strategies
  • Develop impact indicators
  • Consider qualitative evaluation
  • Evaluate continuously and adapt your strategy in consequence

Evaluation activities are ideally integrated into the change process from the beginning.

Establish concrete goals against which to measure progress of the implementation. Goals should be ambitious but attainable and very concrete. For example: “Reducing the number of unnecessary GP consults for minor conditions” is not concrete enough, formulating it as “Reducing the number of unnecessary GP consults for minor conditions by 10% in a year” will help to evaluate the progress of the strategy.

5.1. Develop impact indicators

  • Develop indicators for all levels of implementation:
    • Micro level: evaluate attitudes of professionals and patients, level of knowledge, use of information materials.
      1. Number of performed training sessions for patients/year.
      2. Number of patients attending training sessions.
      3. Number of training sessions for professionals.
      4. Number of professionals who have attended and % of those who should attend.
    • Meso level: evaluate the use of health services, the degree of implementation of the intervention(s)
      1. Level of knowledge of information acquired by patients (survey).
      2. Skill acquired by professionals in communication (specific question in survey patient).
    • Macro: evaluate costs, overall use of the developed self-care resources
      1. Number of website visits of education program.
      2. Consumption of over-the-counter antacids (Pharmacy).
      3. Referred patients from Pharmacy
  • Consider the inclusion of indicators of structure, process and outcomes.

5.2. Consider qualitative evaluation (both by patients/general public and professionals).

  • Qualitative techniques might be particularly useful to detect the acceptability of an intervention, identification of barriers and facilitators of the new intervention.
    1. Conducting one focus group with elderly people attending sessions in nursing homes.
    2. Some interview with professionals who are in direct contact with elderly people in nursing homes (not managers).

5.3. Evaluate continuously and adapt your strategy in consequence.

Annually assess results of indicators and of qualitative evaluation, pull out less productive strategies and especially those which provide a lower cost/benefit ratio.