Background Public health approaches to end of life are a relatively recent development; hence research methodology in this area is also being developed.
Aim A workshop for practitioners and researchers describing methodologies used by an end of life public health programme to develop and test interventions and assess the needs and potential for success of further work.
Methods During the workshop we will describe the methodologies used in a programme which aimed to reframe death and loss as social event and additionally included participatory approaches and engaging communities. Mixed methods approaches of direct observational methods, longitudinal questionnaire surveys to determine both immediate and sustained effectiveness of interventions and also semi-structured interviews will be described. The workshop will present this work, reflect on other methodologies that could be used; discuss what worked well and not so well, and encourage discussion of other people’s research in this area and further development. The importance of retention and follow up of participants will be discussed as will issues regarding qualitative interviewing in this area and further interventions regarding how participants can be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas re public health and palliative care thereby helping to shape the practical and research agenda. The subject and value of evaluation as opposed to research will also be discussed.
Conclusion At the end of this workshop, researchers and practitioners wishing to evaluate and research their programmes will have gained a better understanding of the theoretical and practical applications of research and evaluation.
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