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Measures for Evaluating Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs

Rural health promotion and disease prevention programs collect data to document changes and evaluate effectiveness. An effective evaluation tracks changes over time by collecting data at the start of the program and after program implementation.

When identifying evaluation measures for health promotion and disease prevention programs, it is important to consider the program's focus, the needs of the audience or funders, and the time frame and training available for meeting program goals. Population health measures may also be used in evaluation. Common measures used in health promotion and disease prevention programs include:

Participant data

  • Demographic data: such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, educational attainment income, and primary language spoken.
  • Biological markers: such as height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, skin circumference, and A1Cs.
  • Health status: such as disease, injury, stress, disability, risk factors, and perceived health status.
  • Medical history: such as medication use, doctor's visits, and hospitalizations.
  • Knowledge: such as health concerns, perceived risk, and feedback on program implementation.

Program process measures

  • Number of participants who complete the program
  • Number of participants participating in screenings or risk assessment
  • Number of participants participating in health education or skill activities development
  • Number of participants that receive and follow up with referrals
  • Number of patients enrolled in health promotion or disease prevention programs
  • Number and types of educational materials produced for the program
  • Number of key stakeholders involved in the program
  • Number of people aware of program messaging and intend to take action
  • Number of policies developed
  • Types of program activities and settings
  • Number and characteristics of staff offering the program
  • Extent to which activities are implemented according to the program plan
  • Types of resources and contributions provided by stakeholder groups
  • Cost to complete program-related activities

Participant/community outcome measures can assess:

  • Perceived health status
  • Biometric markers
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Prevalence of risk factors or disease
  • Healthcare costs
  • Policies
  • Environmental conditions
  • Knowledge and skills

Resources to Learn More

Health Outcome Measures
Website
The website provides potential indicators at program baseline, throughout the program, and outcome measures to demonstrate improved health.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Leading Health Indicators
Website
The Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators place emphasis on specific health issues to track as they are improved over the next decade. These indicators are used to assess the health of the nation, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and motivate action at the national, state, and community levels.
Organization(s): Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services

New Summary Measures of Population Health and Well-Being for Implementation by Health Plans and Accountable Care Organizations
Document
Describes a summary measure of population health that includes three components: assessing current health, assessing sustainability of health, and assessing subjective well-being.
Author(s): Kottke, T.E., Gallagher, J.M., Rauri, S., Tillema, J.O., Pronk, N.P., & Knudson, S.M.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 13
Date: 2016

Suggested Population Level Measures for the CMS State Innovation Model Initiative
Document
Provides population health measures proposed for the CMS State Innovation Model Initiative, including data sources and related NQF number and measure.
Organization(s): Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 6/2014