Perspectives on Reach to Recovery and CanSurmount: informing the evaluation model
The Canadian Cancer Society requested that the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation of the National Cancer Institute of Canada evaluate Reach to Recovery and CanSurmount, 1-on-1 peer-support programs that provide information and support to individuals with cancer and their families. Key informant interviews (with program participants and volunteer visitors) were conducted to gather qualitative data and to help us develop a framework and tools to evaluate these programs. We found that 1) there are program objectives from the perspective of volunteers and participants in addition to those outlined in the program materials; 2) there are variations in how the programs are delivered and how patients or family members are recruited into the program; and 3) there is evidence that Reach to Recovery and CanSurmount volunteers are in a unique position to deliver the programs, either because they have personally experienced cancer or have family members who have had cancer. We describe the key informant exercise developed for this evaluation project and present the results of preliminary data-gathering activities.