WHO workshop on the effectiveness of community-based oral health promotion and oral disease prevention
WHO Headquarters, Geneva, 19-20 June 2003
Systematic evaluation is a core element of organisation and adjustment of community oral health care programmes and particularly important to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of community-based interventions. One of the common findings from effectiveness reviews of oral health interventions is the problem of ensuring good quality evaluation of programmes. Problems identified relate to specification of quality outcome measures, short-term timescales to assess change, inappropriate evaluation methodologies and inappropriate evaluation of programme implementation and processes.
It remains a challenge to oral health professionals to integrate and link community oral health programmes with the broader health agenda. Public health research focusing on the development of evaluation methodologies has identified a variety of issues including the:
- Importance of using plustistic evaluation approaches (quantitative and/or qualitative).
- Limitations of the randomised controlled trial design for evaluation of public health interventions.
- Need to match evaluation methods with the nature of intervention.
- Development of outcome measures appropriate for the nature of intervention.
- Importance of developing workforce capacity in evaluation techniques
- Need for development of partnerships between health practitioners and academics in conducting evaluations.
In recognition of the importance of developing better quality evaluation of community based oral disease prevention programmes and health promotion the WHO Oral Health Programme at Headquarters organized this two-day workshop.
The aim of the meeting was to share experiences from evaluation of community oral health programmes carried out in different regions of the world and to set up guidelines for appropriate evaluation approaches in the future.