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T W Valente. (Pp 305; £37.50). Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-514176-8
The author, Thomas W Valente, is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. So the book is built on the author’s experience in evaluating health communication projects and in teaching programme evaluation to graduate level students in public health.
This is a comprehensive guide to the framework, theories, and techniques used to evaluate health promotion programmes. It covers every aspect of the activities involved in conducting an evaluation, including formative, process, and summative research. The organisation of the book follows the chronological order of the occurrence of each activity during an evaluation project. So the chapters are divided into three sections. The first (Theory), chapters 1 to 5, covers health promotion frameworks and theories, formative research, and process evaluation methods. Part II (Methods), chapters 6 to 10, deals with study design, sample types, size and selection, construction of questionnaire and interview methods, data management, scale construction and statistical analysis. Part III (Results), chapters 11 to 14, deals with the calculation of programme effects and their interpretation and dissemination, including examples of statistical analysis used to assess programme outcomes. The final chapter discusses ethical issues and dissemination of findings.
Evaluating health promotion programs will help answer many questions that arise during a programme evaluation. So, this text provides a guide to the evaluation process. It is perfect for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in public health, health communication, health education, and health promotion. Ideal as a text for a programme evaluation course. Also, for researchers conducting health promotion programmes in the field as a guide to evaluating their programmes.
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