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Examples of Evaluation Measures

Rural tobacco prevention and control programs have found that having a common set of evaluation measures can help to keep the project team working towards the same goals. Baseline and interval measures can be used to monitor the effectiveness of program activities and document changes in the target population. It is important to link each measure to a particular question in the evaluation to ensure that the data answers the question. The measures used to evaluate tobacco prevention and control programs vary depending on the program model and the goal of the evaluation. For example:

  • Process Measures focus on measuring how services are provided. Examples include the number of:
    • Staff trained
    • Educational sessions held
    • Calls to the quitline
    • Quit attempts by participants
    • Partnerships the program has formed with other stakeholder organizations
    • Meetings held with partners to assess progress and make changes
    • Staff trained in program practices
    • Patients enrolled in and/or served by the program
    • Referrals to other services
    • News stories covering tobacco control issues in the target area.
  • Outcome Measures focus on measuring the results or overall achievements of the program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a list of outcome variables for comprehensive tobacco control programs. Other examples include:
    • Change in availability of health and social services in the community (for example, locations for tobacco cessation classes, providers regularly counseling patients on tobacco usage)
    • Change in health behaviors over time (for example, number of cigarettes smoked in the last week, or number of quit attempts)
    • Change in awareness of health topics (for example, lung cancer, hypertension)
    • Change in policies and legislation related to health (for example, school policy change to ban/limit smoking on the property)
    • Return on investment (ROI) in program examining social and healthcare cost savings

Resources to Learn More

Analyze Data
Includes instructional videos and tip sheets on analyzing, visualizing, and reporting data from tobacco program evaluations.
Organization(s): The Tobacco Control Evaluation Center at UC Davis

Comprehensive Evaluation Plan for the New York Tobacco Control Program
RTI conducted an evaluation of the New York State Department of Health's Tobacco Control Program. This report explains the program evaluation, challenges encountered, and methods.
Author(s): Austin, W.D., Crankshaw, E., Donoghue, S., Farrelly, M.C., Holden, D., Loomis, B., & St. Claire, A.
Organization(s): RTI International
Date: 10/2003

Collect Data
The Tobacco Control Evaluation Center compiled a variety of resources to help communities decide what kind of data to collect, develop instruments, and collect data. There are many examples of tobacco program data collection tools, as well as guides and resources to inform program implementers.
Organization(s): Tobacco Control Evaluation Center

Question Inventory on Tobacco (QIT)
A tool that categorizes more than 1,000 tobacco-related questions that can be used in questionnaires for programs to help collect data on program participants' health, behavior, and attitude changes
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention