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Service Evaluation and the Service User: a Pluralistic Solution

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User involvement is a key pillar in the temple of clinical governance. There are many potential ways in which the service users of health and social care may act in order to achieve positive and constructive change. Service evaluation, however, has not historically been one of these. This paper looks at a model of service evaluation that can offer an empowered voice to service users, enabling participation in service-level evaluation and development.

The pluralistic model for evaluation has a subjectivist epistemology, which stands in contrast to the scientific evaluation methods normally seen in health and social care organisations. It attempts to give all the stakeholders of a service equal authority and explores all perspectives to create a measure of success that is relevant and meaningful at the local level. This paper evaluates the theory behind this model and explores the pros and cons of this approach through recent examples found in the literature. It is hoped that this article will generate further thought and debate on this important and timely subject.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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