Critique of health contemporary health program evaluation


DAVIS, B, McGrath, N, Knight, S, Davis, S, Norval, M, Freelander, G & Hudson, L 2004. Aminina Nud Mulumuluna (You gotta look after yourself): Evaluation of the use of traditional art in health

promotion for aboriginal people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Australian Psychologist, 39(2), pp. 107-113.

Critique of health contemporary health program evaluation


Background of the program

The following discussion engages in critical analysis of the evaluation of the use of traditional art in health promotion for aboriginal’s people in the Kimberly region of Western Australia. The aim of the project was on evaluation of preventive health resource developed for aboriginal people in the west Kimberly region.  The project was been undertaken by the Jean Hailes foundation For the Women and Aboriginals and non-Aboriginal health workers, educators and artistes from Looma, Pandunus Park, Mowanjum and derby (Allegrante & Sleet 2004, p 157-171). 

The aim of the project was to determine whether traditional art and language in health promotion can provide for cultural identity and imparting modern health knowledge, that is, to determine whether integration of modern health knowledge and traditional one can contribute to contemporary view of the Aboriginal health ( Raingruber 2014, p 156-167).The aims of the project was not clear.  This is because initiatives and hypothesis from the project were not widely disseminated and used in other regions and communities. They mainly encompassed on Aboriginals only rather than having incorporated other regions to have effective data.  The objectives could have been made SMART if they could have not engaged other regions to act as control group to their project (Fallon, Begun & Riley 2013, p 143-178). For the program to be Specific, it is to be formulated to one community so that it can yield a good sample size to study with. For the program to be realistic, it has to produce diverse findings that can be deductively hypothesis to test its predictions. The issue of the time was not addressed in the program, as there was wastage of time in getting sample from Kimberly and South West Victoria. The other regions for example, could have some background of scenarios where incorporation of traditional art in health promotion was effective. These places could have been referenced from United States or other parts of Australia. The target group for the program was Aboriginal women. The program surveyed Aboriginal women using a comprehensive women’s health questionnaire in order to fully understand their reproductive and general health needs. The surveys were conducted to women from both the Kimberly and South West Victoria. The rationale behind this program was to identify reproductive health status and general; lifestyle factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular.


`The program needs to be evaluated to detect areas that were not addressed. Another reason for evaluating the program is to provide alternative methods that could have been used by the program to produce effective results. The program needs to be evaluated to determine whether initiatives to the indigenous languages have a positive impact on the health promotion of the Aboriginal people of the Western Kimberly. Therefore, the program is a type of impact-oriented project (Raingruber 2014, p 156-167). The evaluation has to be undertaken to bridge the gap between the literatures. The gap between the literatures is the missing data on how far has the impacts from the program entrenched to the Aboriginals’ society. The program used questionnaires only to conduct its study. The study could have brought reasonable results if it had included such methods such as RCTs and Case studies. 

The positive thing about RCTS is that the population studied is likely to give more personal data unlikely to questionnaires where most of the people lie. Case studies on the other hand are objective in the research eliminating the elements of emotions and feeling in the study. The antagonistic of case study is that, although people will corporate, samples will be in constant fear and anxiety in the study. For the evaluation to be effective, observation should be devised to be used (Tsey & Every2000, p 140-148). This comprises of observing the impacts of combination of modern and traditional methods in health promotion for Aboriginal people in Western Kimberly. Observation may take the form of overt and overt where the participants in health settings are studied. This type of evaluation had recently been employed in South Western Kimberly to determine the impact of improving communication between health workers and Aboriginal patients in health care setting in Australia.

Strength and weaknesses of this evaluation

There were varied strengths emanating from the evaluation of the strength was that Aboriginal women above 18 years corroborated in the study to provide reliable results. Many Aboriginals were able to change their diet and lifestyle to reinforce the need for preventive health strategies among these women. Another positive about the evaluation is that, the findings from the questionnaires suggested a high prevalence of PCOS in this population (Hoghugi & Long2004, p 120-123).The weakness of the evaluation was that, due to small sample size, the data lacked the elements of quantification. Another limitation from the evaluation was that the program was highly electrified with Western paradigms (Cara & Macrae 2005, p 134-137). This denied the evaluation to borrow from Aboriginals system of health. Another limitation from the evaluation is that the program kept jumping from one method to another that lead to inconsistent data (Cara & Macrae 2005, p 134-137).

Findings of the evaluation

The finding from the evaluation is that fifty percent of the women participated in the study. A half of the remaining women were from the Western Kimberly and the other half from South Victoria region. Most of Aboriginal women from the rural area cooperated as compared to their counterparts from urban centers. The overall findings are that women were highly characterized by high risk of cardiovascular disease (Tsey, Whiteside, Haswell-Elkins, Bainbridge, Cadet-James & Wilson 2010, p 169-179). Patients with diabetes and Cardiovascular disease need holistic and comprehensive involvement in the research to ensure that their plights are encompassed under one roof (Tsey, Whiteside, Haswell-Elkins, Bainbridge, Cadet-James & Wilson 2010, p 169-179). .


The analysis concludes that there exists literature gap between the evaluations of contemporary health program. It has been concluded that, the results could have been amplified if the study concentrated on the Aboriginal people of the Western Kimberly Only than encompassing on the other from South west Victoria. Not all participants cooperated in the study and therefore, led to small size of data (Raingruber 2014, p 156-167). Therefore, intervention with observations and RCTs will improve the evaluation of the program, as people with the disease will act in their capacity to perfect he preventive intervention to improve their contemporary life.


It is recommended that any attempt to evaluate contemporary health program evaluation should range from economic, social and cultural perceptive. It also recommended that the attempt should include not only questionnaires in its evaluation, but it should employ observations, RCTS and cohort studies (Turner, Richards& Sanders 2007, p 430-455). The evaluation has devised that case/cohort studies are important in addressing challenges experienced by the Aboriginals of South western Kimberly in Australia ( Raingruber 2014, p156-167)..

Reference list

CARA, E., & MACRAE, A. (2005). Psychosocial occupational therapy: a clinical practice. Clifton Park, NY, Thomson Delmar Learning. pp134-137.

FALLON, L. F., BEGUN, J. W., & RILEY, W. J. (2013). Managing health organizations for quality and performance. Burlington, Mass, Jones & Bartlett Learning.pp143-178.

FERTMAN, C. I., & ALLENSWORTH, D. D. (2010). Health promotion programs from theory to practice. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass.

HOGHUGHI, M.& LONG, N. (2004). Handbook of parenting: theory and research for practice, London: SAGE Publications Ltd.pp120-123.

RAINGRUBER, B. (2014). Contemporary health promotion in nursing practice. Burlington, Mass, Jones & Bartlett Learning.pp156-167.

STEWART-BROWN, S.& MCMILLAN, AS.(2001). Home and community based parenting support programmers and interventions: report of Work-package 2 of the Data Prev project. Coventry: Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. Retrieved from:<>.

TSEY, K.& EVERY, A.(2000). Evaluating Aboriginal empowerment programs: the case of Family Wellbeing, Australian and New Zealand,Journal of Public Health.pp140-148.

TSEY, K., WHITESIDE, M., HASWELL-ELKINS, M., BAINBRIDGE, R., CADET-JAMES, Y.& WILSON, A.(2010). Empowerment and Indigenous Australian health: a synthesis of findings from Family Wellbeing formative research. Health and Social Care in the Community 18(2):169–79.

TURNER, K., RICHARDS, M.& SANDERS MR 2007. Randomized clinical trial of a group parent education programmer for Australian Indigenous families. Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health.pp430-455.

ALLEGRANTE, J. P., & SLEET, D. (2004). Derry-berry’s Educating for Health a Foundation for Contemporary Health Education Practice. Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons.pp157-171.

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