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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A theory of program evaluation practices in disability management Swenson, Patricia Louise


This grounded theory study developed a theory of evaluation in disability management programs. Disability management involves managing the interactions between health condition impairments and their environments to overcome functional barriers. A sample of four sites was selected each site representing a different paradigm of disability management practices: biomedical, labour, biopsychosocial or insurance. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with 9 participants, including an administrator and practitioner from each site, the Readiness for Organizational Learning and Evaluation Instrument, and documents from each site were analyzed. There were five major findings of the study. 1) Meaningful disability management program evaluation requires insight into how impairment environment interactions are being managed by the program. 2) The presence or absence of collaboration among stakeholders contributes significantly to the variability in disability management and disability management evaluation. 3) Understanding how disability management programs are adapting to contextual influences contributes significantly to an explanation of variability in disability management and disability management evaluation. 4) There are five primary disability management evaluation criteria: return to work, cost savings, timeliness of services, client satisfaction, and client functioning. 5) Disability management evaluation followed a consumer working logic approach, and was predominantly concerned with usefulness of services, and secondarily framed from perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Additionally, disability management programs and their funding organizations are increasingly using technology to develop new data management systems for future use in evaluation.

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