Background Raising awareness of advance care planning is essential for better preparing people for living with serious illness. A multi-year, multi-sectoral initiative is underway in Alberta, Canada (population 4.4 million) to increase public awareness and understanding of advance care planning using a Compassionate Communities approach. Here we describe the development of an evaluation framework to: 1) determine effectiveness of the initiative in raising public awareness of advance care planning, and 2) contribute to best practice and knowledge on evaluating a Compassionate Communities-based public awareness initiative.
Methods A literature review was undertaken to identify relevant framework(s) to guide our evaluation. Meetings were held with stakeholders to solicit feedback on the selected evaluation framework(s) and proposed measures.
Results A logic model was developed to synthesize the goals, inputs, audience, activities, outputs, process measures and outcome measures for the program. Process evaluation is structured around the Healthy End of Life Program Evaluation Framework, based on its public health palliative care approach to evaluation, health promotion principles, and community development approach. Outcome evaluation is structured around the Australia Palliative Care Evaluation framework to capture impacts on ‘consumers’ (i.e. ‘the public’, patients, families, carers, friends), ‘providers’ (i.e. professionals, volunteers, community organizations) and the ‘broader care delivery system’ (i.e. structures and processes, networks, relationships). Proposed process and outcome measures were refined with stakeholder input.
Conclusions Preliminary data collection is proving feasible and meaningful in measuring the impacts of this Compassionate Communities-based public awareness initiative on individuals, communities, and systems of care.
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