1.2.1 Using mixed methods to evaluate an All-Wales Dietetics Food and Nutrition grant scheme (223)
Ros Carnwell, Professor of Nursing Research, Centre for Health and Community Research, North East Wales Institute, Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom Co author: Sally-Ann Baker firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a proven link between disease and poor diet and so there is a clear need for public health interventions that will impact on the food that people eat (Food and Well Being 2003). Educating the public about food and nutrition is key to facilitating behavioural change. Community based initiatives are frequently used to promote changes in eating behaviours and involve training local people to work as Community Food Workers or as peer educators to work within communities (Kennedy et al 1999). In Wales, an All-Wales dietetics grant scheme was implemented in order to increase the capacity of dieticians, community food workers and community nurses, to deliver accurate information about food and nutrition through the delivery of Open College Network level 2 courses, 10 projects are currently funded. The Welsh Assembly Government commissioned an evaluation to assess the impact of the grant scheme on increasing the capacity of dieticians in Wales to inform and support communities in healthy living. Evaluating such a complex initiative requires a mixed method approach and the aim of the current paper is to describe the evaluation strategy, the methods employed in developing a minimum data set, and report the preliminary findings from the first phase of the evaluation (as approved by Welsh Assembly Government). This includes a description of initiatives and training developed, and their impact on the wider community; the extent and impact of working in partnership; perceptions of the learning that took place; behavioural change.
Recommended reading list:
- Food Standards Agency and Welsh Assembly Government (2003) Food and Well Being: Reducing inequalities through a nutrition strategy for Wales. Food Standards Agency, Cardiff and Welsh Assembly Government Cardiff
- Kennedy L.A., Ubido J., Elhassan S., Price A., Sephton J. (1999) Dietetic helpers in the community: the Bolton Community Nutrition Assistants Project. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 12(1), 501-512
Ros Carnwell is Professor and Director of the Centre for Health and Community Research and North East Wales Institute. She has a professional background in health visiting and for the past 10 years has managed funded research projects relating to health and social care. Her specific research interests, on which she has published widely, include nursing roles, public health nursing and pedagogic research.