< Back to previous page


Civic engagement in neighbourhoods regarding serious illness, death and loss (CEIN) : a study protocol for a convergent-parallel mixed-methods process and outcome evaluation that balances control and flexibility

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Background: New public health approaches in palliative care attribute an active role to civic society in providing care for those who are seriously ill, caring, or bereaved. Accordingly, Civic Engagement In Neighbourhoods regarding serious illness, dying and loss (CEIN) are emerging worldwide. However, study protocols that advise on how to evaluate the impact and complex social change processes underlying these civic engagement initiatives are lacking. Objectives: The main objective of this study is to describe the study protocol for the evaluation of civic engagement initiatives in serious illness, dying, and loss in two neighbourhoods in Flanders, Belgium.Design:A convergent-parallel mixed-method process and outcome evaluation for the CEIN study. Methods & analysis: We look at the evaluation of CEIN through a critical realist lens, thereby including the social, political, and economic determinants of social change in CEIN, the mechanisms to achieve this social change, the outcomes, and the mutual connection between these three aspects. We will conduct a convergent-parallel mixed-method process and outcome evaluation in which qualitative (i.e. observations, interviews, group discussions, and ego network mapping) and quantitative data (i.e. a pre-post survey) are simultaneously but separately collected and analysed and in the last stage combined by narrative synthesis. Discussion: This protocol illustrates the difficulty of operationalising the desired long-term impact of social changes regarding serious illness, dying, and loss into more manageable outcomes. We recommend a well-cogitated logic model that connects the outcomes of the study to its potential actions. Applying this protocol in practice is a constant exercise between providing sufficient flexibility to meet feasibility, desirability, and context-specific needs in the CEIN study and providing sufficient guidelines to structure and control the evaluation process.
ISSN: 2632-3524
Volume: 17
Pages: 1 - 11
Publication year:2023