More than a tool shed: Piloting a multi-level, multi-method evaluation of the Step-By-Step Project.
PHE ePoster Library. Wood A. Sep 12, 2019; 274430; 23
Andy Wood
Andy Wood
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Abstract Introduction
Health status/seeking behaviour of older, retired men is of public concern. Men's Sheds provide men with a male-centred, social space, facilitating shared skills and physical/mental health benefits. Yet, evaluations rely on reflective accounts from existing members of single sheds. Step-by-Step (SBS) will provide a 12-month, multi-level, multi-method evaluation of 94 new Sheds. Pilot testing of the evaluation methods was conducted to modify tools ahead of baseline testing.
Older, male, non-Shedders reviewed the acceptability of the evaluation tools before six Shed Members completed an online health, strengths and motivations survey and five Shed Members completed a Social Network Sociogram and/or follow-up interview (assessing Shed experiences) from four UK Men's Sheds. Three Shed Leaders completed a Community Asset Mapping task and interview (assessing Shed processes).
Participants felt uncomfortable with some language used, however the survey platform was perceived as accessible. The interview questions successfully elicited health, learning, and community engagement discussions. Practical lessons were learnt in terms of the size of paper required to produce a sociogram and the need for private space to reduce disruptions and instruction confusion. Similar to previous research, Shedders' personal accounts expressed physical/psychosocial benefits, practical skill sharing and reciprocal support.
Changes were made to the tool design, the social task paperwork, and evaluation sequencing. Unlike men's health behaviour research, the men were openly willing to become participants and showed no reluctance to discuss health. Applying a new approach to Men's Sheds research meant the researchers learnt about Shed processes, financing and community networks. External funding details
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