UBC Theses and Dissertations
Evaluation of the arthritis men's group Rafael, Rebecca
Approximately 18 months ago, an Arthritis Men's Group was started by the Social Work Department at the Vancouver Arthritis Centre. Having identified the need for such a group, interim objectives were proposed for the group which was still in the pilot stage of its development. The purpose of the study was to conduct a formative evaluation of the Men's Group to take a closer look at what was happening in the sessions, to examine the feasibility of the objectives and whether these objectives were being achieved. This information would be used by the planners to improve and/or modify the program. The underlying conceptual approach to the study was 'naturalistic'. In the context of this framework, several data collection methods were used including: interviews, quantitative measures, monitoring and narrative descriptions of group sessions. The findings suggested that interim objectives were being met in the sessions which focussed specifically on psycho-social issues. In addition, other sessions were serving an important 'informational' function which was recognized and valued by group members. Interviews with core-group members did indicate the perceived acceptance and usefulness of open discussions on psycho-social issues. However, over the short duration of the monitoring period no significant changes were found on the measures pre to post so that the positive or negative effects of the achievement of higher levels of emotional openness is not known. The study did provide a good preliminary data base on the nature of the group process and the heterogeneity of the membership. Useful information was gathered both on the kind of group process which may facilitate the achievement of the specific program objectives as well as the informational function of the group. Overall, group members seemed satisfied with group process and content and wanted to see the group continue.