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What are some of the techniques or processes that can be employed to evaluate health policy as opposed to evaluating a specific health intervention - Essay Example

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The process itself also contributes to the value in terms of measurable achievement. Evaluation is also defined as "the use of the scientific method, and the…
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What are some of the techniques or processes that can be employed to evaluate health policy as opposed to evaluating a specific health intervention
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techniques for evaluating health policy Evaluation is defined as the assessment of the extent to which an action achieves a valued outcome (Nutbeam, 1998). The process itself also contributes to the value in terms of measurable achievement. Evaluation is also defined as "the use of the scientific method, and the rigorous and systematic collection of research data to assess the effectiveness of organisations, services and programmes such as health service interventions in achieving predefined objectives" (Bowling, 2002). The purpose of evaluation is to test the correctness of an implemented plan and to suggest corrections if deficiencies are encountered.
Grossly, there are three types’ measures which are used for evaluation (Gilson et al, 1975). They include ‘measures of structure, measures of process and measure of outcomes’. Measures of structure and process evaluate the strategies behind the policy while the measures of outcome assess the effects of the policy on the affected population. Community participation in the evaluation of any health policy is of prime importance and deliberative approaches when used by the concerned authorities are successful in yielding information which leads to the development of effective and appropriate modifications in any health programme (Gregory et al, 2008). A specific health intervention which has definite end points like the success of Polio immunization can be simply evaluated by taking the total figures of immunization doses administered (process measure) and demonstrable data of less occurrence of Polio (outcome measure) (Gilson et al, 1975). On the other hand more complicated policies like evaluating the outcome of preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s disease might need more through data collection, research and analysis.
Evaluation of a health programme involves the general processes like audit and quality assurance to determine whether predetermined standards have been met (Bowling, 2002). It may be directly focussed on patients in relation to treatment and care, evaluation of specific biochemical indicators or on the measurement of broader quality of life of the patients. Outcome of medical interventions from social, psychological, physical and economic perspectives are measured (Bowling, 2002).
References:
Bowling A. (2002) Research Methods in Health: Investigating Health and Health Services, Second Edition, Open University Press, Buckingham/Philadelphia, Pgs. 6-8
Gilson B.S., Gilson J.S., Bergner M. et al, (1975) The Sickness Impact Profile - Development of an Outcome Measure of Health Care, AJPH, Vol. 65, No. 12
Gregory J., Hartz-Karp J. & Watson R (2008) Using deliberative techniques to engage the community in policy development, Australia and New Zealand Health Policy 2008, 5:16, retrieved online September 17, 2009 from http://www.anzhealthpolicy.com/content/5/1/16
Nutbeam D. (1998) Evaluating health promotion - progress, problems and solutions, Health Promotion International, Vol. 13, No.1 Read More
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