244333 Evaluation tool to assess the impact of CHWs: A community-based doula model

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rachel Abramson, RN, MS, IBCLC , HealthConnect One, Chicago, IL
Sarah Kerch, BS , HealthConnect One, Chicago, IL
Jeretha McKinley, BA , HealthConnect One, Chicago, IL
Molly Chappell-McPhail, MSW, CD(DONA) , BirthMatters, Regensis Community Health Center, Spartanburg, SC
HealthConnect One's (HC One) leadership and training model structures ongoing, supportive relationships with women in underserved communities prenatally, during birth and into the postpartum period. HC One has implemented the community-based doula (C-BD) model for 15 years at over 40 community agencies. An important component of C-BD is community participation. Local agencies must employ women who are trusted members of the target community to serve as doulas. Doulas, as community health workers within the maternal and child health service field, provide support to mothers prenatally, during labor and birth, and postpartum.

Doula Data is a community-based data collection tool implemented by HC One in August 2009. This web-based data system measures service utilization, adherence to C-BD model and health outcomes for doula sites. Since its launch, five C-BD programs integrated Doula Data into their operations, and five programs are in the implementation phase.

Integrating Doula Data with the C-BD program provides community agencies with the capability to provide quality doula services while continuously evaluating their activities and outcomes. Doula Data has shown several positive outcomes of C-BD programs, including: improved prenatal care, fewer pre-term births, increased breastfeeding rates and more positive birth experiences.

BirthMatters, a C-BD site where doulas use iPads to access Doula Data remotely while visiting clients, will co-present with HC One. Together, we will demonstrate that implementing similar evaluation tools across sectors will allow CHWs to integrate program evaluation into services and demonstrate their impact on health outcomes within communities.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1)Provide evidence on the impact of doulas in communities. 2)Identify and evaluate health outcomes attributable to community-based doulas. 3)Discuss lessons learned and explain how to replicate user-friendly, doula-driven program evaluation tools in similar health sectors and communities.

Keywords: Evaluation, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sarah Kerch is the Maternal and Child Health Data Coordinator at HealthConnect One. In this role, she implements and consults on Doula Data with all community-based doula program sites at HealthConnect One.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.