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Pain Concern

Pain concern supports and informs people with pain, and those who care for them. This support is largely provided through a telephone helpline and online forum.

The challenge that Pain Concern faced was how to measure long-term impact (e.g. to social isolation) of a remote service.

Together, we created a logic model to show immediate impact and contribution to long-term outcomes.

Setting very short-term outcomes (which contribute to long-term outcomes) meant that typically outcomes could be achieved during calls.

Pain Concern then used the logic model to create an evaluation plan, where volunteer call handlers were at the forefront.

ESS principles –
Fits the way you do your work

After our tailored support session, Pain Concern were able to revise their tools:

Indicators were introduced which could be ticked off by call handlers during the call. They also created a comment section to capture feedback during the calls.

“The helpline logic model was key in helping us to redesign our feedback forms for both capturing the contacts’ and volunteers’ views.”

Pain concern

We supported Sam in evaluating Pain Concern’s helpline service, we did this by facilitating a tailored support session to review Pain Concern’s evaluation plan and design appropriate collection methods.

Together, we reviewed the indicators that had already been explored, and helped identify the natural points of contact when Sam and her team would be able to gather feedback. This led to ideas about the simple changes that could made to their contact log form (which they complete during calls) such as recording callers’ feelings of positivity and ability to take next steps.

Additionally, to help Sam understand each step on the evaluation pathway she then attended our ‘Let’s Evaluate!’ training programme.

“I really enjoyed the support session and found [the trainer] to have been super helpful and approachable. I came away feeling much more positive afterwards and knew what my next steps were.”

Sam, Pain Concern Manager

If you run a remote service – it may be helpful to set immediate outcomes which you can achieve during a call.

Don’t worry about proving long-term outcomes – you can still show your contribution to the long-term outcomes via the short-term outcomes!

Revisiting Pain Concern allowed us to see that after the first tailored support session, they had a good foundation for their evaluation plan and had outcomes in place. But the second tailored support sessions meant that we were able to provide more structure for evidence collection methods and reassurance that they were on the right track!

ESS Principle – About what matters

See below for the case-studies that this story is based on:

Case Study: Pain Concern Helpline

This case study is about the steps Pain Concern took in order to capture the difference their telephone helpline makes for people living in chronic pain.

Case Study: Pain Concern

ESS worked with Pain Concern to help improve their helpline service. This case study is an example of an ESS evaluation principle: good evaluation should fit the way you work.