258887 Using Performance Measures for Program Evaluation

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Vonna L. Caleb-Drayton, DrPH , US Health Division, Abt Associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD
Deborah K. Walker, EdD , Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA
Sara Donohue, DrPH , Domestic Health Division, Abt Associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD
Sarah Ball, MPH, ScD , US Health Division, Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Keisher Highsmith, DrPH , HRSA/MCHB/DHSPS, Rockville, MD
David de la Cruz, PhD, MPH , HRSA, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Rockville, MD
Background: The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has developed national and program-specific measures to track progress towards achievement of program goals and to use standardized measures to compare funded programs. In the Healthy Start (HS) program, measures of service, systems, and birth outcomes are used to monitor grantees' progress towards the goal of improving maternal and infant health. This presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of using MCHB performance indicators as outcome measures for evaluation of the national HS program during 2006-2010. Methods: We examined the 15 MCHB performance measures (PM) reported by HS grantees. This presentation will report on the six birth outcome PM that have the same or similar definitions as national Healthy People 2010 indicators and PM used in state MCHB Title V block grant monitoring. We used percent change and moving averages to examine changes in HS grantees' PM over time (2006 to 2009) and to compare HS grantee rates with state and national rates. Discussion: Well-defined PMs for birth outcomes, such as those used by the MCHB, are easy to calculate and interpret using available vital records data. Data availability issues and changes in PM definitions from year to year can limit the ability to calculate trends over time and/or direct comparisons between individual programs or across geographic levels. Conclusion: MCHB performance indicators offer a promising approach for evaluation of maternal and child health programs. This application of PM analyses in evaluating the national HS program represents an advancement in the field.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) performance measures that are used to monitor birth outcomes among Healthy Start program participants. 2.Describe the strengths and limitations of using MCHB performance measures to track progress towards achievement of program goals and objectives.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, MCH Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director for HRSA/MCHB/DHSPS cross-site evaluation of the Federal Healthy Start Program with responsibility for the design and implementation of the analytic plan and synthesis and dissemination of the results of the evaluation.
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.