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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


Abelson-led team wins national award

20 Oct 2014

A national team led by Julia Abelson has won the Canadian Research Project of the Year Award from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). The award-winning project involved the development of an evaluation tool for health system and health care organizations across Canada to assess the effectiveness of their efforts to engage patients and the public in the planning, design and organization of health services.

The IAP2 North American Core Value Awards, announced recently in Winnipeg, are presented to organizations that demonstrate the use of innovative techniques and show excellence in the practice of Public Participation (P2). Abelson’s project, Supporting quality engagement in the Canadian health system: The Public and Patient Engagement Evaluation Tool (PPEET) was deemed by the judges as being “an important contribution to the advancement of P2 in health care in Canada.” 

While there has been considerable effort made by governments, hospitals and health systems organizations in Canada to include patients and the public in planning health care initiatives, evaluation of these efforts has been limited, in part due to the lack of accessible, user-friendly evaluation tools. In 2011, Abelson led the establishment of the public and patient engagement evaluation collaborative, which included representation from seven provinces, six regional health authorities and two provincial and local health organizations. The collaborative has focused on the development of a common evaluation tool that can be used in a variety of health system organizations across the country. The research has been supported by two CIHR grants and direct and in-kind contributions from several health regions across the country including Capital Health (NS), North West Local Health Integration Network (ON), Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (MB) and Vancouver Coastal Health (BC).

The research has yielded an evaluation framework and three evaluation questionnaires, each aimed at different end users: those participating in engagement activities; those planning and sponsoring public and patient engagement activities; and senior organizational leaders responsible for supporting public and patient engagement in their organizations.  

The evaluation tool is in the final stages of development and will be made available in the coming months.

Here’s a link to a video about the tool:

IAP2 is “an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions and other entities that affect the public interest” around the world.


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