Tagged / research methodology

Planning health promotion programmes: an Intervention Mapping approach

For those of you interested in health education, applied psychology or physical activity promotion, read on.

Last week I attended the annual Intervention Mapping course at Maastricht University, which provides a framework for decision-making when planning, conducting and evaluating complex interventions. As a physiologist and early career researcher the course introduced me to using a theory-led, systematic approach when devising multidisciplinary interventions. From my perspective, what to consider when planning an exercise/physical activity programme to improve mobility (and holistically quality of life) for frail older adults living in care home residences. Intervention Mapping comprises the following steps:

  1. Needs assessments (or logic model of the problem)
  2. Specifying the ‘change objectives’
  3. Programme design
  • themes and components
  • theory- and evidence-based methods for change
  • practical application
  1. Programme production
  2. Implementation plan
  3. Evaluation plan

It should be noted that this framework relates mainly to collaborative healthcare projects, involving multidisciplinary team-working with individuals that may include: behavioural scientists, physiologists, Allied health professionals, care home staff and council officials.

As a ‘cog in a wheel’ (i.e. physiologist working within healthcare teams), personally Intervention Mapping has influenced my methodological perspective and will inform my long-term research, but will have little impact in the short-term for laboratory-based studies. For the behavioural scientist or applied psychologist interested in health promotion, the course would be a great benefit. For everyone else considering healthcare projects incorporating behaviour change I wholeheartedly recommend. Plus, Maastricht is a cultural and gastronomical delight.

If you would like further information on the course and framework, let me know.

Dr James Gavin

Department of Sport and Physical Activity

Bournemouth University

Email: jgavin@bournemouth.ac.uk

Reporting back from the BSA Auto/Biography Christmas Conference!

“I say tomato, You say tomato”. Is Autoethnography Auto/Biography by any other name?

Prior to our holiday break, Dr Judith Chapman and Dr Sarah Collard presented their research at the recent British Sociological Association (BSA) Auto/Biography Conference in London. This was a novel presentation, not limited to following a power point, but involving discussions with one other and the audience about the differences between the two research methods of autoethnography and auto/biography.

As they recently presented on this topic at the Centre for Qualitative Research lunchtime seminar, Judith and Sarah felt warmed up for the conversation and debates that occurred when presenting and discussing the topic in front of an audience of methodological experts within this area! After each shared their own experiences of conducting either authethnography or auto/biography, they opened it up to the audience to debate the merits of the two methods. An exciting and interesting dialogue with the audience ensued, with the ethical considerations of each method being fervently discussed, as well as the challenges of deciding what can be classified as autoethnography or auto/biography. There was no lull in the exchange of views and conference members applauded the informative and interactive element of our presentation.

After our presentation, we were able to forge links with others at the conference and were requested to share our work even more! It was very exciting to be so well received and have such a positive response to the presentation. However, there was no overall consensus and we agreed to differ on the syllabic emphasis of “tomato”!

Impact, outcome and research methods – HSC PhD student on LSE Impact Blog

With working at a university and the rise of the REF, you would have almost certainly come across the terms ‘impact’ and ‘outcomes’. Whilst there might be a great deal of similarity and overlap in the use of these terms, it is important to discuss the sometime subtle differences between ‘impact’ and ‘outcome’. What consequences might this have for the design of social research?

The health and social care literature uses these terms in a rather haphazard manner. The differences are rarely discussed and it can be suggested that many use the wrong terminology. In this blog post on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog, relating to the field of information and advice on welfare issues, I briefly discuss and propose that there are fundamental differences between what an impact refers to and what an outcome refers to. Furthermore, I suggest that these differences are significant and profound enough to align each to opposing research methodologies.

These thoughts relate to the key areas of my PhD project with Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) in London. EAC coordinates the FirstStop service which provides information and advice to older people (and other stakeholders) on housing and care issues. My research is focused on how older people use information and advice on housing and the wider impact that this has.

If anyone has an interest in this area, do get in touch!