There are a number of programs on smoking cessation design for employees that are premised on various data analysis techniques. Despite the diversity of data collection methods, all the programs are aimed at improving employees’ lifestyles and creating new incentives for increasing employees’ productivity and performance.
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Moreover, there is a growing trend in evaluating the practices and improving the strategies on creating a program. The systematic evaluation can allow managers to solve problems and help community-based organizations to improve the quality of services and working conditions.
Despite the veritable understanding of evaluation of program evaluation, there is a need for creating a comprehensive framework. Therefore, analysis of other frameworks for programs on smoking cessation will help to integrate successful data collection and analysis methods that can contribute to the quality of program outcomes.
The evaluation process implies investigating worth, significance, and merits of efforts made during the program implementation.
Invention of new methods and approaches has been developed to embrace the multiple aspects of the program, define its strengths and weaknesses, and outline significance and main elements of the data collection process.
All these procedures will provide a better understanding of how the program can be improved and modified to reach greater objectives and goals. Finally, the evaluation process has great importance for governmental organizations that assess the usefulness and validity of the programs for future implementation in other settings.
The program under analysis focuses on a smoking cessation opportunity for employees. It involved 70 participants who plan to quit smoking; 11 participants managed to quit smoking, which pointed to the success of the program and its future potential.
Certainly, though the ratio of the participants who had quit smoking was not significant, there were still methods and alternative researches that could help understand how to improve this program and increase the number of employees who were ready to give up smoking.
Integrating Data Collection Methods into the Program Evaluation Plan
With regard to the above-presented background, the program involved only 70 participants and it was based on a local hospital in Ohio. The success of the program is evident because it was primarily based on observation process, as well as on the results of employees’ interviewing in a natural setting.
Nevertheless, the framework within which the program was implemented did not allow the researchers to create great effect on the participants. In this respect, it is purposeful to assess related programs on smoking cessation to define which methods could be integrated into data collection methods.
The studies by Shershneva et al. (2011) have introduced a spectrum of approaches and methods that allowed the researchers to reach over 43,000 clinicians (p. 29). What is more important is that the program involved collation of comparison data among different program components to define the degree of its effectiveness.
Such an approach could be applied to define how employees of Ohio hospital can enhance their incentives to take part in programs and increase number of those who are ready to quit smoking.
In addition, the assessment of employees performance through implementation of 4 levels of evaluation, including participation, satisfaction, learning, and performance also contributes to better outcomes through engagement of the 5 A’s algorithm.
Specifically, the algorithm involves, “Ask about tobacco use, advise to quit, Assess readiness to quit, Assist with cognitive/behavioral strategies, assist with medication, Assist with relapse prevention, and Arrange for follow up” (Shershneva et al., 2011, p. 29).
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Such an extensive overview of aspects and factors influencing employees’ behavior and perception would allow Ohio hospital program to expand its techniques and improve the quality of goals achievement.
In order to accomplish the program purpose and establish a multi-strategic approach to change, implementing knowledge management and skills enhancement is crucial. Skills and experiences are vital to reach the objectives in the most effective way, as well as increase the usefulness of the training program.
In this respect, Labib et al. (2012) have conducted an evaluation of the training program to define how background knowledge and skills influence the outcomes (p. 52). Similar to Shershneva et al. (2011), the scholars have employed the 5 A’s algorithm for implementing the program objectives (p. 30).
These studies have significant implications for integrating medical education in smoking cessation programs. Training healthcare personnel, therefore, is an essential condition for increasing employees’ awareness of the negative effects of smoking.
The data collection methods implemented by Volpp et al. (2009) are premised on randomized sampling of employees working for a multinational company to gain data about programs on smoking cessation, as well as on the effectiveness of these programs in terms of financial incentives (p. 699).
Analyzing and selecting the participants gathered across the United States was carried out through surveys that encouraged the employees to give information about their smoking habits and their willingness to participate in the program.
In contrast to these approaches, the Ohio program on smoking cessation did not involve financial incentives for employees; rather it aimed to check for employees’ awareness of the necessity to quit smoking that is not linked to financial rewards. Nevertheless, implementing surveys could also be beneficial for the program accomplishment.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Data Collection Sources
Assessment the strengths and weaknesses of the data collection sources creates a new insight into possible methods and approaches to conducting programs and developing efficient plans for health promotion.
Due to the fact that the main purpose of the program on smoking cessation consisted in improving healthy lifestyles of their employees, the focus on cost reduction and insurance seems to be irrelevant.
In order to define the potential strengths and weakness of the program, specific emphasis should be placed on the target participants involved into data analysis, the framework for interpreting data, which method is the safest for collecting data and information processing, and understanding the appropriate value of those who provide information.
In addition, the methods for data collection should also be discussed in terms of their influence on the target populations. Finally, the availability of resources for collecting information should also be considered, including financial perspective, personnel, and level of skills and experiences.
The research studies presented by Volpp et al. (2009) also reveal beneficial approaches to data collection methods that could be employed into the program at issue (p. 700).
In particular, the scholars apply to the stratification process of employees in accordance with place of work, level of smoking dependence, and income. Such an approach has not been implemented into the program at Ohio hospital, although it could have provided a better picture of results and findings and that of the level of employees’ readiness to quit smoking.
However, the program has the stratification of employees in accordance with age, which provides the strong side of the programs in terms of its applicability to the employees regardless of age.
The main strength of the program lies in the availability of the cost-benefit analysis of its outcomes. In particular, the Ohio program on smoking cessation ensures that the more employees are invited into the program, the more moneys will be saved through the insurance cost reduction.
What is more important is that the program seeks to increase employees’ productivity through considering financial incentives.
Contrary to the benefits of the studies conducted by Volpp et al. (2009), there is strong necessity to introduce alternative programs that do not imply money as the main incentive for successful outcomes (p. 701).
Hence, presence of financial incentive is the tangible weakness of the program because there should be other effective ways for raising employees’ awareness and reducing their dependence on smoking.
In particular, Labib et al. (2012) argue that focus on training of health care professionals has a positive impact on improved smoking cessation outcomes because it encourages employees’ readiness to participate in the programs and improve the overall quality of services (p. 53).
Knowledge distribution, therefore, is considered to be vital for triggering cessation interventions. According to Labib et al. (2012), “one of the major barriers in starting a smoking cession campaign or practice is that many health professionals do not have the skills and knowledge of how to intervene” (p. 56).
In this respect, the program could have been premised on other incentives than monetary support.
Another weakness of the program lies in insufficient number of employees taking part in the program. The sample does not provide perspectives for utilizing this program in future development of health care environment. Limited number of participants contributes to the selection biases.
Similar problems are provided in the studies by Labib et al. (2012) that have confirmed the restriction imposed on the program implementation (p. 57).
The value of appropriate sample, however, is presented in the program evaluations provided by Shershneva et al. (2012, p. 31) and Volpp et al. (2009, p. 700) who offered a much greater sample.
Threats to the Data Collection Process
While implementing a qualitative approach to the data collection process, there might be data biases related to the nature of observation of participants in natural environments, as well as to the depth and objectivity of conducted interviews.
For example, such aspects as gender, language patterns, age, and ethnicity can affect the data analysis due to the focus of the study. Data collector bias is connected with the unconscious information distortion while collecting data.
For instance, the interviewers can resort to different styles in posing questions to the respondents and such a bias is a decisive factor in case interviewing is the primary source for analysis. With regard to the program, the researchers have introduced age characteristics only and failed to consider other aspects of data collection process.
Despite the fact that it does not influence greatly the program outcomes, it can negatively contribute to the accuracy and internal validity of the research.
Apart from threats to internal validity, there are also hazards to the external validity as well. This is of particular concern to the selection effects that can either be delineated or replicated. Setting effects are also taken into consideration while estimating the employees’ influence on the surrounding setting and vice versa.
Due to the cultural and social diversity, the outcomes of the program can also be different. Finally, the employees might perceive the scope of the program differently due to a multi-strategic approach chosen to conduct a program.
As a result, some terms and definitions can be understood in a different way. Similar concerns are connected to the employees’ perception of the explanation provided by the researchers.
For instance, some of participants might think that the main incentive of smoking cessation is insurance reduction rather than improvement of the health care environment. In fact, the reduced costs constitute only the cause of the program purposes.
Data Analysis Procedures
Due to the fact that the program is primarily based on the statistical evaluation of the results, the data analysis procedures should involve review of related programs on smoking cessation – a qualitative approach to estimating the practical significance of the data.
This type of inductive qualitative analysis will provide a wider explanation for the program value in terms of employees’ behavior and other qualitative characteristics.
In particular, the literature surveys will guide the researchers through different data analysis approaches that have been used in related programs on smoking cessation. Depending on methodology and research design, the literature review can also assist researchers in developing an efficient framework for data processing.
Quantitative analysis is also essential for estimating the cost-benefit analysis of the program, as it is presented in the case. In this respect, the program focuses on the statistic evaluation of the age of participants who plan to quit smoking.
With regard to the presented case, the chosen data analysis procedures should involve a mixed method of evaluation to insurance that both observations and statistical data, including age, gender, and other attributes, have been carefully considered.
Such a decision is enhanced by the evidence received from related studies on smoking cessation programs. In particular, although not all research studies resort to the analysis of literature reviews, all of them apply to statistical analysis of the received data (Volpp et al., 2009, p. 700; Labib et al., 2012, p. 56; Shershneva et al., 2011, p. 32).
Specific attention requires the studies by Chan and Heaney (1997), in which the focus is on quantitative research (p. 352). In fact, statistics allows the scholars to define which of the mentioned characteristics are the most important for the program outcome (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005, p. 123).
Qualitative aspects are revealed through presenting the conceptual framework under which various notions and definitions are presented.
The conceptual framework is of high important for the program under evaluation as well, because it will allow the research to provide a detailed objective explanation of the research goals, procedures, and definitions to the participants.
Practical and Statistical Significance of Data
The importance of incentives included into the program implementation process is important both for the researchers and for the focus group (Posavac, 2010, p. 15).
In this respect, the studies by Volpp et al. (2009) proves that the presence of financial incentives can significantly foster the employees’ engagement into the program accomplishment as compared to those participants who are triggered only by the awareness of the potential benefits of smoking cessation (p. 705).
Within the context of this research, it can be stated that the program under analysis could have integrated this aspect to promote greater results.
Statistical significance of the data involved into the process demonstrates how numerical data allows the program managers to conclude how the project influences employees’ awareness of smoking cessation initiative.
Essential Elements of Program Evaluation Report
A Program Evaluation Report should be based on the analysis of five important components that include philosophy and goals, needs assessment (analysis of the participants), program planning procedures, implementation, and the evaluation itself (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005, p. 156).
To begin with, the program has clearly stated its goals and objectives that are confined to creating incentives for employees to quit smoking, promoting healthy lifestyles, and developing a multi-strategic approach to change. Reduction of insurance costs is another important outcome of the program on smoking cessation.
Needs assessment focuses on the target audience involved into the program. In this respect, the case shows that the participants are not limited to age, gender, and ethnicity, which imposes certain biases on the results.
As per program planning procedures, the case study does not provide sufficient explanation for the stages of employees’ participation. Instead, it refers to the outcomes and benefits of the program accomplishment. The program implementation focus has sufficient presentation.
In addition, the program outcomes have proved that its goals and objectives directly relate to the expected results. Finally, the evaluation process itself has managed to address such important issues, as data collection methods and all possible biases related to them.
Such an assessment allows the program managers to predict possible threats and risks in future.
Research Utilization Processes
The results of the program demonstrate that employees’ engagement into the evaluation process creates cost benefits for the hospital, irrespective of the number of employees who quit smoking. Irrespective of age of individuals who quit, the program is worth utilizing for future practices.
Despite the win-win situation, the program could be advanced to provide potential benefits for employees’ welfare and future promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Hence, the program both benefits the hospital and the employees. Despite the fact that the hospital employing the participants was the focus of the program, it still has a positive effect on the employees’ physical and mental health.
In this respect, the utilization processes could be used for two major purposes – to develop alternative incentives for employees to quit smoking and introduce cost benefits for the hospital. Such perspectives of the utilization processes can convince stakeholders to employ the program in their settings.
The analysis of the program on smoking cessation held at Ohio hospital has outlined to major advantages – development of incentives for employees to promote healthy lifestyles and improve their performance, as well as reduction of insurance costs that the hospital should cover for sustaining employees’ health.
The program has also been evaluated concerning the data collection methods, strengths and weakness of data analysis, potential threats to implementing data collection resources, and possible utilization processes that can be used to guide practices in health care. All these aspects have revealed advantages and disadvantages of the program.
In particular, the analysis of literature related to the program has provided the necessity to select a mixed method for estimating the participants and the outcomes.
Involvement of qualitative and quantitative data is indispensible for enhancing practical and statistical significance of the data. The main weakness of the program lies in irrelevant approach chosen for selecting the population sample.
Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2005). The ABCs of Evaluation: Timeless Techniques for Program and Project Managers. US: John Wiley and Sons.
Chan, W., & Heaney, C. A. (1997). Employee Stress Levels and the Intention to Participate in a Worksite Smoking Cessation Program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(4), 351-364.
Labib, N., Radwan, G., Salama, R., & Horeesh, N. (2012). Evaluation of Knowledge Change of Internal Medicine Residents Following a Training Program in Smoking Cessation. Pakistan Journal of Medical Research, 51(2), 52-58.
Posavac, E. J. (2010). Program Evaluation: Methods and Case Studies. US: Pearson.
Shershneva, M., Larrison, C., Robertson, S., and Speight, M. (2011). Evaluation of a collaborative program on smoking cessation: Translating outcomes framework into practice. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 31, 28-36.
Volpp, K. G., Troxel, A. B., Pauly, M. V., Glick, H. A., Puig, A., Asch, D. A., &… Audrain-McGovern, J. (2009). A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(7), 699-709.