Friday 1st July 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Summer 2016
Health and Wellbeing Events can take a variety of forms, but what evidence demonstrates their effectiveness?
An evaluation of Health and Wellbeing Events was completed in May 2011. The events are supportive, group occasions that provide information, signposting and contact with peers. Their aim is to help patients move on after treatment and assist with the emotional impact of this transition. The evaluation identified a number of common things that worked well, including identifying the outcomes achieved by events.
The things that supported events to work well included:
• the engagement of the multidisciplinary team to support referral and attendance, through systematic referral processes and dedicated administrative time.
• the promotion of a wide range of services related to wellbeing and not just traditional health services.
• creating opportunities for volunteers to share their personal experiences of cancer with attendees.
• tailoring the design and branding of the events to the patient groups.
• working in partnership with community organisations to target black and minority ethnic groups to support recruitment, attendance and design of the event.
• offering continued support after events. This has included various routes such as the development of networks of volunteer and community support services, and giving patients the option to attend subsequent events.
The evaluation also identified the components of effective events at different stages and made recommendations for activities that should be considered before, during and after the delivery of Health and Wellbeing Events.
These are summarised below:
| Stage||Components |
|Recommended pre-event design and inputs
- Awareness and engagement (of patients, multidisciplinary teams, primary care, voluntary sectors and commissioners)
- Pathway integration (of events into cancer and survivorship pathways)
- Agree an appropriate model, including the role of volunteers
- Training of staff and volunteers
- Pre-event needs assessment, based on assessment and care plan or Holistic Needs Assessment
- Referral mechanisms
- Administrative support (paid or voluntary)
- Agree data collection and patient tracking processes
|Recommended processes at the events
- Processes (tracker system)
- Interventions (for example, care action planning, exercise or relaxation techniques)
- Communication models (for example, presentations, market stalls, one-to-one support)
- Information giving, including key health and wellbeing messages (verbal, written and signposting) tailored to audience
- Data collection for tracking and evolution
|Recommended outputs and actions following the event
- Documentation (eg letter to GP)
- Referral to buddy support programme
- Timely referral and access to other services
- Information for patients to take away
- Tracking and evaluation data processed
With regard to the outcomes achieved by events, the evaluation found that those that had attended the events experienced a range of positive benefits. Attendees had increased knowledge of the signs and symptoms of recurrence of cancer and they knew how to re-enter the system if they needed to do so. This could work to fill the gap in information that was identified in the evaluation of stratified pathways.
As with stratified pathways, these events were supportive in empowering patients to self-manage their condition, increasing their knowledge of local services and reducing anxiety regarding access to services. Patients also reported increased knowledge with regard to diet, physical activity and referrals to physiotherapy and dietitians. The evaluation also found that patients experienced improvements in their quality of life, allowing them to better manage emotional distress and take part in social activities.
Continue reading this issue of Sharing Good Practice
Introduction to Health and Wellbeing Events
The evidence base for Health and Wellbeing Events
Case Studies: Health and Wellbeing Events
Policy: Health and Wellbeing Events
The Recovery Package resources