Process evaluation of interventions: Overlooked?

A recent publication in Health Education Research raises an important and often-overlooked element of intervention development and application: process evaluation.

Whilst the need to incorporate the impact (or outcome) element of evaluation is a well-recognised component of intervention, what is less well-recognised is the need to incorporate the element of process evaluation. As noted by the Authors of Pilot evaluation of an adolescent risk and injury prevention programme incorporating curriculum and school connectedness components,

A process evaluation enables understanding of critical issues that can inform the improved, ongoing implementation of an intervention.”

The process evaluation elements operationalised in the research included program reach, participant receptiveness, and initial use. Impact evaluation included measures of self-reported injury, risk-taking behaviour including alcohol use, and school connectedness. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies (including focus groups and observer ratings for process evaluation, and self-report questionnaires for impact evaluation) were used in the research, highlighting the need for a multifaceted evaluation approach.

Read more at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23503569

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