Development and formative evaluation of a decision-management health promotion program on healthy weights for women

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This project involved the development and formative evaluation of a health promotion program which incorporated the healthy weights concept into a three stage decision management model. The objectives of the program were to have women examine their issues around body weight in a health promotion context and to set individualized, clear and specific goals around these issues. The formative evaluation focused on Rutman's (1977) criteria for an evaluable program, namely, program articulation, causal assumptions, and expected effects, plus consumer satisfaction. The project was conducted in two parts: first, the content of the program was developed, produced and then evaluated for adequacy as to adaptation of Egan's ( 1990a) model, accuracy of information provided, and appropriate use of the delivery mechanisms. Second, the program was field tested to assess how the program was used, what effects it had, and consumer satisfaction with the program. The issue of how well the decision-management model was adapted was also studied in the second phase. The first stage of the decision-management model program was delivered through an interactive computer program. Stages two and three were incorporated into a workbook format. Three people with expertise in the decision-management model were asked to review the program to assess how well the model had been adapted. There was agreement that stage one was well adapted in the computer program but that the workbook was a weak adaptation of stages two and three. The workbook was revised and returned for a second review which was uniformly positive. Three reviewers with expertise in weight management were asked to review the content of the program. No major changes were recommended by these reviewers. Finally, two reviewers assessed the computer program in terms of adherence to principles of computer assisted instruction. No major changes were recommended by these reviewers. A ninth reviewer edited the computer screens in hard copy for clarity and typographical errors. Five volunteers used the program to ensure that the computer program ran properly, and that the workbook was clear and functional. The changes recommended by reviewers and volunteers were incorporated, where possible, before the field test. The findings of the first part of the study can be summarized as follows: the model had been adequately adapted; the program content was thorough and correct; the delivery mechanisms functioned well and were useful; and the program appeared likely to achieve its objectives. Volunteers for the field test were solicited through a Calgary corporation. The field test was conducted on site and the participants were excused from work for this purpose. Sixteen out of the 20 volunteers solicited for the field test used the computer program; four did not use the program for various administrative and personal reasons. The volunteers represented a variety of weights, Body Mass Index zones, ethnic backgrounds, and had a variety of concerns. Of the 16, 14 received follow-up interviews three weeks later. Eight of the 14 participants had completed all or some of the workbook at follow-up. The workbooks were copied for analysis. Data were collected using the computer program on what sections were used and the time taken by each individual. The results of the field test can be summarized as follows: the computer program worked well and was well received by consumers, although several modifications were recommended. The workbook did not work well and requires major revision: users did not formulate clear and specific goals. Interviews and computer data provided many recommendations for modifying the program. These should be implemented and another evaluation conducted before proceeding to an outcome or efficacy evaluation.
Bibliography: p. 184-215.
Thurston, W. (1991). Development and formative evaluation of a decision-management health promotion program on healthy weights for women (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/11794