Tool for Outcome Measurement

What is Tool for Outcome Measurement (TOM)?

A strategic priority of Arthritis NSW (ANSW) undertaken in 2020/21 was the development of a Tool for Outcome Measurement (TOM). Outcome measurement identifies and measures the impacts of ANSW’s services and supports on clients. TOM helps ANSW to more effectively deliver on our mission: To help people living with arthritis.

Benefits of TOM

With TOM, Arthritis NSW is able to:

  • deliver and enhance services of greater value to people living with arthritis
  • make informed decisions to refine and improve services
  • identify areas of unmet need leading to potential new services.
Why measuring outcomes is important

TOM puts our participants in the driver’s seat. Their feedback and insights help ANSW to improve and develop programs that better meet their needs and work towards our vision of Freedom from arthritis.

What is measured

Arthritis NSW has identified six outcome domains or areas that our services and supports can influence. They are:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Independence, choice and control
  • Motivation and inspiration
  • Community connection
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Physical wellbeing

On the Right Track

Arthritis NSW started collecting data using TOM on 13 April 2021 and has continued to grow through this time, despite major obstacles presented by Covid-19. Arthritis NSW is determined to make measuring outcomes part of our DNA and more data is being collected as programs recommence in 2022. This will continue to assist ANSW in moulding services that meet the needs out our participants. The results represented feedback from 105 consumers of eight ANSW services, plus family members and carers.

Triangulation Method

To enhance the quality of our research, ANSW collected data from three sources.

  1. Surveys completed after customers use our services. Respondents gave personal perspectives on how we influence change in the six domains and the nature of their life with arthritis.
  2. Periodic interviews to dive deeper into client experiences to understand how services are supporting them, and where they could be improved.
  3. We also sought feedback from instructors and service providers to gain perspectives on if and how programs were supporting participants.
Top line results

HIGH ACHIEVING DOMAINS 
Knowledge and Understanding: 90%
Proportion of participants who have an increased understanding of how to manage their condition.
This is an encouraging result as raising people’s level of knowledge and helping them understand their condition and how to manage it is at the core of ANSW’s mission.
Motivation and Inspiration: 88%
Participants who agree that ANSW helps motivate them to effectively manage their condition.
Having a strong, positive influence over people’s motivation to self-manage their condition is heartening. Motivation is also linked to improvements in other outcomes.
Independence, Choice and Control : 76%
Participants who agree ANSW has helped them feel more in control of their condition.
There is improvement in actual and perceived of control over participants’ life and choices - important to ensure a sense of independence.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT 
Community Connection: 66%
Participants who feel supported by ANSW community
The results across exercise classes and camps are pleasing, and we will continue to foster a sense of connectedness across all programs.
Physical Wellbeing: 55%
Participants who report that pain interferes with their ability to maintain a normal routine.
Strength, balance and mobility contribute to physical wellbeing and we are increasing access to, eg. ANSW’s Strength & Balance program, that bring about these benefits.
Pain and Symptoms Management: 42%
Participants who experience a reduction in pain immediately after class.
Users of our physical programs, eg. warm water classes, report decreased pain. We encourage consumers of our education resources, Infoline etc. to exercise to manage pain and offer alternate approaches to reduce reliance on medication.