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Basic Types of Evaluation - Essay Example

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This paper compares and contrasts the basic types of evaluation and provides specific application examples in health promotion programs. Evaluation is the methodological area devoted to the provision of feedback about an object or phenomenon. …
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Basic Types of Evaluation The Basic Types of Evaluation Evaluation is the methodological area devoted to the provision of feedback about an object or phenomenon. The process of evaluation entails collection and assessment of data about an activity or object with limited focus on the worthiness of the result but to provide feedback to the audience (Robert, Cavill & Rutter, 2009). According to Bastable (2008), one of the most common models of evaluation includes the Roberta Straessle Abruzzese (RSA) which places five basic types of evaluation relative to one another based on the purpose of the scope, question and resource components of the evaluation focus. The basic types of evaluation include impact, outcome, process, and content evaluations. This paper compares and contrasts the basic types of evaluation and provides specific application examples in health promotion programs. Comparison and Contrast of the Basic Types of Evaluation Outcome or summative evaluation is one of the basic types of evaluation with the main purpose of establishing the results of carrying out an activity or program. This form of evaluation is guided by different questions seeking to establish the overall effect of a program or activity (Marris & King, 2007). The guiding questions in this form of evaluation are formulated from the objectives of an activity, program or even research. Outcome evaluation takes place after all processes of an activity or program have been completed to establish changes associated with the just completed activities. The difference between content and outcome evaluations is the focus on long-term changes in the latter as opposed to short-term focus in content evaluation. In health care promotion programs, outcome evaluation may involve evaluation of skills imparted on health care professional where the practitioner’s competency is determined based on patient’s recovery after applying the acquired skills. Content evaluation would entail demonstrating before treating a patient. Outcome evaluation in health care is commonly applied in evidence-based studies on certain phenomena and often requires the establishment of effective and reliable measurement and data collection strategies (Bastable, 2008). Another basic type of evaluation includes the process or formative evaluation which involves making judgment on the activity processes or components to ensure timely adjustments necessary to arrive at the desired outcomes. This form of evaluation is critical in health promotion program because it allows health professionals or program administrators to anticipate and counter issues that may make the program not succeed (Marris & King, 2007). Unlike outcome evaluation which focuses on the end result, process evaluation focuses on ensuring that the program remains consistent with its main objectives. This form of evaluation is particularly important in the intervention process where adjustments can be made on the basis of patient response but not the final outcome of the intervention. Process evaluation is more cost effective compared to the outcome and impact evaluations which require expertise and added costs (Bastable, 2008). The other important type of evaluation includes the impact evaluation whose main purpose is centered on determining whether carrying out an activity or implementing a program is worth the cost or investment put in it. This form of evaluation has a broader scope and focuses on more long-term effects than the rest of the evaluation types (Robert, Cavill & Rutter, 2009). Unlike outcomes evaluation which is often confused for impact evaluation, it focuses on the goals rather than the objectives of the activity or program. Impact evaluation is the most intensive and extensive form of evaluation and often requires more resources in the designing and conducting of the processes (Bastable, 2008). Impact evaluation further requires trained data collectors and analysts as well as sophisticated instruments. Therefore, impact evaluation is recommended for capital intensive programs as well as programs crucial to the wellbeing of the patient and effectiveness in the delivery of health care services (Marris & King, 2007). Examples of Specific Application in Health Promotion Programs An outcome evaluation can be applied in a study examining effectiveness of a work site diabetes prevention program involving a sample of people at risk of developing diabetes. Outcomes on the participants such as oral glucose tolerance testing results, fasting insulin, and body mass index would be indicative of the program effectiveness (Robert, Cavill & Rutter, 2009). An example of a specific application of process evaluation may be in a smoking rehabilitation program where the health practitioners evaluate the progress of one of the methods applied to help a patient stop smoking. In this case, continued application of one method will depend on the progressive impact on the patient’s smoking habit and if one method fails to elicit any significant change, it may be replaced with another method or program. Finally, impact evaluation can be applied to evaluate the impact of training health care practitioners on the proper use of body mechanics in the process of delivering the health care services. In this case, impact evaluation would focus on establishing the impact of the training on reducing the number of health care providers complaining of back problems. The basic types of evaluation differ in many ways including the circumstances under which they are appropriate, resources involved, expertise requirement and their focus, either long-term or short-term. Therefore selection of any of the types of evaluation must involve evaluation of such factors, relative to the study activity or phenomenon being evaluated. References Bastable, S. (2008). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice, (3rd ed). London: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Marris, B., & King, B. (2007). Evaluating health promotion programs. The Health Communication Unit. Retrieved from http://www.thcu.ca/resource_db/pubs/107465116.pdf Robert, K., Cavill, N., & Rutter, H. (2009). Standard evaluation framework for weight management interventions. National Obesity Observatory. Retrieved from http://www.noo.org.uk/uploads/doc/vid_3534_NOOSEFreportJuly09.pdf Read More
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