Health Care -- Ethical Issues in Evaluation Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Health Care -- Ethical Issues in Evaluation Research -- California Tobacco Control Program

The CTCP is a statewide program using a number of individuals and is, therefore, subject to a number of potential ethical problems. The number and scope of those potential ethical problems is limited only by the private agendas of these individuals, the parameters of the program, and safeguards used by program administrators/staff to counteract those potential problems. Given the "public health" nature and concerns of the CTCP, its adherence to the highest ethical standards is not only warranted but would also be beneficial for the CTCP's ongoing work in controlling tobacco use. In addition, the final evaluation plan for CTCP follows.

Body:

Identify and discuss potential ethical issues where your health/social program is concerned. How might these impact your evaluation? How might these be overcome?

Since human beings have their own agendas, and since the CTCP is a statewide program with many persons involved, there are a number of potential ethical issues where CTCP is involved. CTCP's capacity or desire for systematic inquiry about tobacco usage among different age groups, or about the tobacco industry's continuing efforts to attract youthful smokers, or about the effectiveness of its own subprograms to educate the public (to name just a few examples) could break down, affecting the efficacy of the program itself and of its evaluations. This potential problem would be overcome by adherence to strict rules of planning the evaluation about tobacco usage among different age groups, or about the tobacco industry's continuing efforts to attract youthful smokers, or about the effectiveness of its own subprograms to educate the public, and insistence on efficient collection and interpretation of the data (American Evaluation Association, 1994, revisions through 2004; Public Health Leadership Society, 2002, p. 9). In addition, in order to cut costs, the persons/committee required to hire data collectors/evaluators could hire less expensive staff whose abilities fall below an acceptable level of competence for data collection and evaluation (Thomas, 2004, p. 2). This potential problem could be overcome by setting and adhering to minimum standards of competence for data collectors/evaluators (American Evaluation Association, 1994, revisions through 2004; Public Health Leadership Society, 2002, p. 9). Any number of problems could occur where integrity/honesty is involved: one or more members of CTCP could falsify data or deliberately misinterpret it in order to justify continued funding or further funding at any point for the CTCP's public education program (for example), or one or more members of CTCP could undermine the work of another member in any of the CTCP's activities to educate the public and counteract the tobacco industry, for another example (American Evaluation Association, 1994, revisions through 2004; Public Health Leadership Society, 2002, p. 9). Respect for people may also be impacted by ethical lapses, such as: failing to honor the confidentiality of people responding to the CTCP's questionnaires. This potential problem could be counteracted by instituting and overseeing measures to safeguard confidentiality to all who respond for this CTCP evaluation (American Evaluation Association, 1994, revisions through 2004; Public Health Leadership Society, 2002, p. 9). Finally, in their zeal to counteract the culture and proliferation of tobacco use, CTCP or its members may disregard the interests of people using e-cigarettes, for example (American Evaluation Association, 1994, revisions through 2004; Public Health Leadership Society, 2002, p. 9). The evaluation may incorrectly lump e-cigarettes with actual tobacco use, though e-cigarettes deliver nicotine to users without fire, smoke, ash, or the 3000+ other chemicals inherent…

Sources Used in Document:

Due to the CTCP's established practices and relatively long history, proper evaluation questions are geared toward "process evaluation" (Anonymous, Common conceptual and methodological frameworks - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 4). The program's extensive long-term and short-term goals lend themselves to multiple evaluation questions. Deliberately limiting those questions for this assignment, one example of a proper evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by providing leadership and research in advocating social norms creating an environment that is tobacco free?" Another possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by stopping illegal tobacco sales to youth?" A third possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by fighting the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing?" A fourth possible process evaluation question would be "Is the CTCP achieving its goal (Anonymous, Typical evaluation questions - Powerpoint presentation, n.d., p. 5) of empowering statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by assisting people to permanently quit smoking?"

Evaluation Team

In the specific case of the CTCP, these stakeholders would include: the Principal Media Strategist and the Chief of the Media Campaign Unit, whose interests include the CTCP media campaign and who could contribute focus/questions/perspective based on the media campaign, then use the evaluator's collected data/findings for more effective use of media to further CTCP objectives (California Department of Public Health, 2012); the Chief of the Tobacco Control Branch, whose interests include the overall program objectives, and who can contribute focus/questions/perspective based on system-wide goals, then use the evaluator's collected data/findings system-wide through department heads (California Department of Public Health, 2010, modified 10/31/2012); the Chief of the Strategic Planning and Policy Unit, whose interests include planning and implementing policies/strategies for achieving the CTCP's goals, and who can contribute focus/questions/perspective based on policy/strategy and use the evaluator's collected data/findings to tweak policy and strategy (California Department of Public Health, 2012); at least 1 of the 13 members of the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, whose interests include planning and implementation of the CTCP's education/research efforts, and who can contribute focus/questions/perspective based on education/research,

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