Limited-resources tobacco control interventions: How to show the effects to the authorities and sponsors, and lessons learned
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Alcohol and Drug Information Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A98
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In low-income countries, tobacco control interventions are often conducted with limited resources, not allowing a rigorous impact evaluation. However, the ability of tobacco control advocates (TCA) to assess the intervention effects is crucial to prove the necessity for funding.

This presentation aims to review minimal requirements for planning interventions and their evaluation that TCA can take into account.

PICO (population-intervention-comparison-outcome) approach is used.

The set of questions below helps to plan an intervention with measurable effects. Population: What population groups to reach and what unhealthy behaviours to address? What behavioral changes are intended?
Intervention: Which components/elements are included in the intervention? Which intervention element is aimed at which group? Do these groups overlap? What determines the selection of intervention groups? Is randomization possible? Do certain territories or facilities attract more resources and interventions than others? Are different messages transmitted through various media?
Comparison: Is it possible to survey both the intervention and the comparison group several times before and several times after the intervention? Are only repeated cross-sectional surveys affordable? Are there questions that are asked regularly? Do they measure what the intervention aims to change?
Is there a clear distinction between groups that were covered by the intervention and those not covered (for example, by territory)? Can the survey distinguish the intervention groups and the exposed individuals?
Is the intervention aimed at limited territories? How large can the exposed sample be in a nationally-representative survey?

Does the intervention disseminate messages? Does it aim to change health-related behaviors? Is your questionnaire aimed to measure knowledge or behavior? Does it invite people to report socially-desirable behaviors? Is self-reported behavior change triangulated by the report from third parties?

Proper planning of small-scale interventions with limited resources can still allow evaluating their impact.