Designing an evaluation for a multiple-strategy community intervention: the North Coast Stay on Your Feet program

Aust N Z J Public Health. 1998 Feb;22(1):115-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842x.1998.tb01154.x.


Evaluation of the North Coast Stay on Your Feet falls prevention program is described as a case study of a comprehensive evaluation design for multi-strategic community interventions. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to evaluate the program at formative, process and outcome levels. Formative evaluation used literature review, focus groups, mail-out and telephone survey methods to gather evidence from publications, older people, health workers, local business, media and government bodies. It included an analysis of demographic and hospital databases and identified incidence, causal pathways, knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, consequences and effectiveness of potential strategies. Process evaluation employed auditing, monitoring and telephone surveys to maintain an inventory of intervention activities and to track the reach of the program. Outcome evaluation involved a longitudinal study of intervention and control cohorts, surveyed before, during and after the intervention by telephone to monitor changes in knowledge, attitudes, risk and falls incidence. The survey instrument was designed for both formative and outcome evaluation, and analysis reflected the research design by incorporating repeat measures and adjusting for bias and confounding. Outcome validity was cross-checked via hospital admission rates. A novel, integrated framework for presenting inputs, activities and outcomes from all stages of the program is described. This framework facilitated feedback to stakeholders and enabled subsequent rapid adjustment of the intervention. Rigorous evaluation combined with clear presentation of findings helped to engender intersectoral support and obtain funding grants for extended implementation and evaluation. It also helped Stay on Your Feet to become a model for other falls prevention programs within Australia and internationally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Program Development / methods*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires