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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluative study of the University of British Columbia student health service Hannay, Josephine Mary

Abstract

This study was conceived as a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a master's degree in Health Services Planning at the University of British Columbia. The growing demand for evaluation of health care programs constituted the rationale of the study. It appears that the current high level of interest in program evaluation in the health care field is due to two reasons: one, the health sector has become one of the largest segments of the economy and therefore its size demands formal evaluation; and two, the ultimate objectives of health are so complex that they present serious measurement problems for program administrators. In order to make intelligent decisions relative to the commitment of resources, programs designed to achieve these objectives must be evaluated. The program selected for this evaluative study was the University of British Columbia Student Health Service. The study was designed in three phases: one, a background review and preparatory period; two, an on-site survey of all of the dimensions of the Health Service including its facilities, services, and supporting functions; and three, a written report of the findings and interpretation of the collected data with recommendations for change. Based on the researcher's past experience in reviewing Canadian health care institutions for standards and practices, the method employed was an accreditation-type survey using documentary evidence, interviews, and observations. Evaluation of the Health Service facilities and functions was done in terms of the American College Health Association's Recommended Standards and Practices for a College Health Program. Data was collected to provide a comprehensive body of descriptive information concerning health services at the University, and interpreted to make recommendations for change in view of the variance between the Standards and the study findings. Consideration was given to the appropriateness of using American standards as well as to the achievement of them at U.B.C. To the extent that pertinent differences existed between recommendations contained in the Standards and those thought to be applicable in Canada, recommendations or suggestions for change were adapted to suit the Canadian context. Generally, however, the areas of investigation were found to have the same concerns and problems. It was concluded that the U.B.C. Health Service meets the Standards and Practices for a College Health Program recommended by the American College Health Association, and that the Standards can appropriately be applied to Canadian, as well as to American, student health services. This study is intended as a planning document to have utility for the Health Service at U.B.C. and for future research in college health programs in Canada.

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