Utility of Logic Models to Plan Quality of Life Outcome Evaluations


Barry Isaacs, Research and Evaluation, Surrey Place Centre, 2 Surrey Place, Toronto, ON M5S 2C2, Canada. Tel: +1 416 925 2169 ext. 2250; Fax: +1 416 925 6508; E-mail: barry.isaacs@surreyplace.on.ca


Quality of life is widely accepted as an important concept in the evaluation of health and social services provided to persons with intellectual disabilities. While quality of life has been studied as a service outcome and measure of program improvement, its application to multiple levels of program delivery and evaluation remain unclear and can be difficult for community-based agencies that lack resources. An approach using program logic models and including program staff can build evaluation capacity. Logic models can be used to link service components with relevant quality of life outcomes at short-term, intermediate, and long-term points in service delivery. The models can then guide the development of evaluation plans. A case example of how this approach is being used at a service agency in Toronto, Canada, is described. An explanation of how an agenda for quality of life program evaluation developed within the agency is provided, and links between service activities and quality of life outcomes are described. The integration of program logic models into an expanded organizational model defines how quality of life data can influence decision making about programs at the service, organizational, and system levels.