Dr Samantha Garay attended the DECIPHer short course ‘Methodological Innovation in Public Health Intervention Science: Development, Evaluation, Adaption and Implementation’. Here are her thoughts
In July I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the DECIPHer short course on ‘Methodological Innovation in Public Health Intervention Science: Development, Evaluation, Adaption and Implementation’. I had previously come across this course during my PhD but was not able to attend and so when I started my role at DECIPHer I knew this was something that I really wanted to do. I was especially motivated to take part as I recognised that it would be extremely helpful in my current role, which involves evaluating public health interventions as part of a PHIRST scheme.
This was an extremely engaging and comprehensive course that covered many aspects related to interventions, with speakers from both within DECIPHer and from external organisations. The aspects of the course that I found particularly helpful were the sessions on logic models and evaluability assessments. This is because the PHIRST project that I am currently working on is in the Task and Finish group stage, which involves both of these components. We actually started the development of the logic model the week after the course and as such the course helped me to better understand the processes involved and what needed to be achieved.
I also really enjoyed learning about and being introduced to areas that were less relevant to my current work, but will be useful when working in this area in general, as these allowed me to expand my overall knowledge in the area of interventions. This included the sessions on economic evaluation and feasibility studies, as well as the data linkage session, which was very interesting as this is an area I am considering for possible future fellowship applications. Additionally, the course contains numerous interactive group sessions which I always looked forward to, as these really helped me to consolidate and put into practice what we had been learning about in the sessions.
It was a fantastic opportunity to meet others interested in the area of behaviour change and interventions and offered opportunities to develop collaborations
The course was attended by people from across the U.K and internationally, including Denmark, USA and Ireland, with a wide range of research interests and expertise, including physios, dieticians, GPs and academic researchers. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet others interested in the area of behaviour change and interventions and offered opportunities to develop collaborations with those with similar research interests. Networking was encouraged throughout and plenty of opportunities were provided to do this, whether over Welsh cakes and tea, table tennis competitions or the social events in the evenings. I’m looking forward to catching up with the people I met over the coming months.
Overall, it was a brilliant week and I highly recommend anyone interested in behaviour change and interventions to consider taking part.
Details for upcoming DECIPHer short courses can be found here: Short courses – DECIPHer