The Department of Evaluation and Research Services engaged staff from various Departments across Fraser Health to inform an evaluation of the COVID-19 response. The objective of the evaluation is to inform Fraser Health’s recovery, planning, and future preparedness.

The Department of Evaluation and Research Services engaged staff from various Departments across Fraser Health to inform an evaluation of the COVID-19 response. The objective of the evaluation is to inform Fraser Health’s recovery, planning, and future preparedness.

Data collection with staff took place through focus groups held between September and October of 2021. A working group with representatives from across the organization met three times with the evaluation team to inform this work.

The evaluation team applied a trauma and resiliency informed approach to the data collection, applying skills gained through the Fraser Health course Trauma and resiliency informed practice (TRiP) for researchers and evaluators. This TRiP approach in evaluation was co-developed and facilitated by Bev Pomeroy, Patient Engagement Specialist, BC SUPPORT Unit Fraser Centre and Marika Sandrelli, Knowledge Exchange Lead, MHSU. The approach involves understanding trauma, responding to it, and actively avoiding re-traumatization.

Examples of how we incorporated this approach include:

  • Promoting a sense of safety at the beginning of the focus groups by sharing readily available resources to support participants (Employee Assistance Program) and suggesting ways in which staff could take care of themselves.
  • Providing opportunities for choice by being flexible and providing staff with the option to share their thoughts through an online survey instead of attending a focus group.
  • Providing opportunities for connection and relatedness with small focus groups. The team also prioritized listening to staff’s thoughts over discussing all questions. Groups that did not review all questions during the focus groups had the option of sharing their feedback through the online survey.
  • Reducing uncertainty by sharing with participants the focus group questions beforehand.

Using a trauma and resilience informed approach helped us promote Healthy Teams within Fraser Health, ensure our activities do not cause harm, and include staff perspectives in this evaluation.

Want to learn more about trauma and resilience informed approaches for research and evaluation?

Read the American Evaluation Association blog posts from the Trauma-Informed Evaluation Week posted on January 2021 here or get in touch with Bev Pomeroy.

To receive support in engaging staff or patients in evaluations get in touch with the Evaluation Specialist, Department of Evaluation and Research Services.


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