How are we measuring the impact of HeadSmart?
STOP PRESS - HEADSMART CAMPAIGN SHOWS SUCCESS WITHIN ONE YEAR!
HeadSmart is welcoming the initial success of its campaign to reduce the time it takes to diagnose brain tumours in children and young people.
Before the launch in June last year the average interval between onset of symptoms and diagnosis was 9.3 weeks. Recent figures show a reduction in this to 7.5 weeks.
HeadSmart is working hard to ensure that medical professionals and parents recognise the symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people to further reduce the time it takes for tumours to be diagnosed.
Please read the press release at:
The HeadSmart campaign aims to reduce the time taken to diagnose children with brain tumours. In order to assess our impact on this, we are measuring the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis (the symptom interval) experienced by all children and young people newly diagnosed with a brain tumour in UK children’s cancer centres. We will be monitoring how the symptom interval changes over the course of the campaign and comparing this to our HeadSmart symptom interval target of 5 weeks.
We are also measuring our impact in terms of the levels of awareness of brain tumours and their symptoms. Raising awareness of uncommon but serious health problems is not an easy task and there is no tried and tested method for doing so. We do, nonetheless, recognise the importance of monitoring the HeadSmart campaign’s effectiveness. Is the information reaching the people it needs to? Do people remember and apply the HeadSmart messages? Is it having the desired effect, i.e. is it reducing delays in diagnosis? We are monitoring the impact of HeadSmart in the following ways:
- A survey of public awareness of brain tumour symptoms and the HeadSmart campaign.
- A survey of healthcare professional awareness of the HeadSmart campaign.
- Recording the number of children referred for brain scans before and after the campaign.
Much of this evaluation continues, however, there are some early encouraging results:
- 10% of the general public had heard of HeadSmart, according to a survey conducted in October 2011.
- 15% of families attending a routine outpatient appointment not related to a brain tumour had heard of HeadSmart, according to a survey undertaken in August 2011. Families were also shown the HeadSmart symptom card and 66% felt it would increase their confidence in discussing concerns about a possible brain tumour with a doctor.
- Although further information and analysis is required, early provisional data suggests that symptom intervals may be shorter following the launch of the campaign. This is based on data currently available for 170 children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK since January 2011.
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This page will be updated as further evaluation information becomes available.