While evaluating the report I was responsible for carrying
out data audits/ quality assurance checks, inputting data, analysing data,
literature reviewing and report writing. To do this I had to use some of the
skills I have from my degree.

My data management skills were often used to carry out
these tasks as I was responsible for data handling and entering and checking
data. My statistical and analytical skills also were important as I had to be
able to examine and manipulate data in SPSS and identify and evaluate general
patterns to see what the data was saying. Computer skills were essential for
all of these tasks. Communication skills, both oral and written, also came into
play as I needed to communicate any difficulties that occurred and discuss any
uncertainties and talk through what I should do. My written communication
skills were also frequently used as I was writing up a report so had to be able
to communicate clearly and concisely, use good grammar, correct spelling and
proper punctuation in order for the report to be understandable. Being able to
follow instructions and fix mistakes were also essential in my placement as I
had to be able to respond to feedback and rework my report based on Caroline’s
feedback.

Action Cancer specialises in breast cancer awareness,
prevention, detection, support and research. The Why
Weight? lifestyle change programme aimed to reduce the risk of breast cancer by
promoting sustained healthy lifestyles, reducing weight, and increasing
physical activity.

Government statistics show breast cancer is the
most common type of cancer in women in Northern Ireland. Approximately 1,200
women are diagnosed with breast cancer in NI each year (nidirect, 2015). A
number of studies have shown a link between diet and physical activity and
increased risk of breast cancer. Most recently, Mehra, Berkowits, Sanft (2017)
found that following a healthy diet and recommended physical activity guidelines
was associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer. The Why Weight?
lifestyle change intervention is based around these findings.

When
I was discussing the intervention with Caroline she told me she was really
inspired by the Star Model When creating the programme. The Star Model is a
motivational theory and is typically used for job interviews but the idea of
applying it to health related behaviours was a really interesting new
interpretation and I thought this was important to look into. S.T.A.R. is an
acronym for situation, task, action, results. Situation is about setting the
scene, giving context and background to the situation, task is the exact duty
required by the situation, action (argued to be the most important part of the
model) is how you actually responded, and result is what happened as a
consequence (Galbraith, 2017).

The
intervention framework was based around the Star Model. For the situation
aspect where participants were getting background or context to the situation
they were told about the prevalence of cancer, the costs of cancer, their risk
level and the impact changing their current diet, weight and physical activity
would have on reducing their risk. The task aspect outlined the exact changes
participants would need to make in their situation, in terms diet and physical
activity. Action was the steps participants actually took for example cutting
out sugary treats, exercising for half an hour each day. Action varied from
participant to participant and these were the measures recorded. Result was
what happened as a result of participants actions this was weight loss,
decreased risk of cancer etc. the thought behind using this model to guide the
intervention was get participants not to solely think about the result (losing
weight) but the steps required to do this and the reason they were doing this
(situation- i.e. breast cancer risk) so the end goal would be more attainable
and participants would have a reason to preserve and motivate themselves with
when the intervention challenged them.

The Health Benefit Model
was developed in the 50s by Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels, social
psychologists, working in the United States Public Health Services and to
understand why a free tuberculosis screening programme had failed. In short,
the HBM says a person will take a health-related action if they feel they can
avoid an adverse health condition by doing so, thinks the recommended action
will be successful in avoiding a negative health condition and is confident
they can take the recommended action. The star model approach to the
intervention tried and achieve these feelings in participants by making the
programme seem realistic and do-able. 

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