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Evaluation End of Life EoL Social Action Fund

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

6/11/1430/06/16

Background: There is a need to provide services which use social action models to support end of life care in community settings, and to robustly evaluate these models to determine if they influence the experience of end of life care. Such services could work to reduce isolation, help meet emotional needs and maintain a sense of connectedness to the community.

The Centre for Social Action, part of the Cabinet Office proposed an endoflife
care fund to support a spectrum of social action initiatives including befriending (e.g. companionship, emotional and peer support), practical support (e.g.house/garden work, walking pets, picking up prescriptions) and provision of information/navigation towards relevant services. This research is a robust evaluation of these projects.

Hypothesis: Receiving care from a social action volunteer service plus usual care significantly improves patient quality of life in the last year of life.

Study Design: A waitlist randomized controlled trial and a qualitative case study evaluation across 13 sites in England.

Methods: Patients will be randomly allocated to either receive the intervention straight away following any service related administrative procedures (intervention arm) or receive the intervention after a four week wait (waitlist
arm). The impact of the intervention on end of life experience (i.e. quality of life, loneliness, social support and carer burden) will be measured using a predetermined set of outcome measurement tools. Repeated assessments will be carried out at weeks 4 and 8 for the intervention arm and weeks 4, 8 and 12 for the waitlist
arm.

In selected sites (n=8) case study evaluation will include interviews, observation and documentary analysis to understand the mechanisms underpinning any found impact