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Using PozQoL in community and peer support services

Why use PozQoL in community and peer support services

Community and peer organisations who have used PozQoL in their practice found that it supported:

  • Their client intake process by incorporating quality of life
  • Evaluating the impact of programs on the quality of life of their clients
  • Discussion about quality of life and how clients are managing compared to other people with HIV

Related information:

Using PozQoL in Living Positive Victoria's Peer Navigator Program

We chat with HIV peer navigator, Sarah Feagan, about PozQoL.

Sarah works with Living Positive Victoria’s Peer Navigation Program. She discusses how they use PozQoL as part of the broader evaluation of the program.

(Transcript below »)

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Tips for community and peer workers using PozQoL

PozQoL can help community and peer organisations to measure and track the quality of life of HIV-positive clients.

PozQoL has been incorporated into questionnaires before and two months after interventions or conducted every two or six months in ongoing services.

We have found that changes generally occur over periods of two or three months. PozQoL trials in ongoing programs suggest that measurable changes to overall and domain scores do not tend to occur more quickly than this.

Community and peer support programs have used PozQoL alongside validated scales for resiliency, stigma, and other social outcome indicators.

Related information:

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Overcoming time and logistical constraints

Community and peer organisations have been keen to incorporate PozQoL into their client intake and evaluation systems. However, they have also needed to minimise the data collection burden on their clients and staff.

Community and peer organisations have incorporated PozQoL into online evaluation surveys, either as standalone or as part of an online client management system. Others have incorporated into their paper-based evaluation surveys to be entered into a simple spreadsheet template at a later date.

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Already using PozQoL in community or peer support services? Let us know!

Get in touch with us about using PozQoL in your work

We love hearing about how others are using PozQoL. So if you are using (or thinking about using) PozQoL, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We welcome and appreciate all your feedback. Providing feedback helps us better understand how we can improve the PozQoL scale, tools, and website.

Thinking about using PozQoL?

We are happy to collaborate or provide advice. We may also be able to put you in touch with others who are using PozQoL in a similar way.

Already using or used PozQoL?

It would be great to include a post about your experiences in our PozQoL Stories. If this is something that interests you, please get in touch.

Video Transcript

NB: To make it easier to follow, we tidied up the video transcript to remove filler words (e.g., “Um”).

‘Using PozQoL in Living Positive Victoria’s Peer Navigator Program’ with peer navigator, Sarah Feagan

(Interviewer) Basically we just want to have a bit of a chat about PozQoL and your work. So, firstly, could you just introduce yourself super briefly, and where you work and what you do?

(Sarah) Yeah, definitely. So my name is Sarah Feagan. I work at Living Positive Victoria and I’m one of the peer navigators there and I also do some health promotion.

Can you tell me a bit about how you use PozQoL?

So, PozQol has been really integral in the peer navigation program from the beginning. It kind of all came at once, which was really, really exciting. So we’d been using the tool since the program began two- and-a-bit years ago now. And we use it to evaluate our clients that we see. And also part of that process is also self-evaluation after we do face-to-face appointments.

How has it helped the peer navigator program?

Oh, it’s helped so much.

So, we have, you know, biannual meetings with our team and it’s been really helpful just to see how the program’s tracking, how it’s benefiting, how people have been progressing as well over the program…

So we evaluate people three times over 6 months and the surveys are quite similar — well the PozQoL surveys are quite similar, but there’s slight differences. And it’s a really interesting way to see how, after six months of engagement with a peer navigator, their journey and how they have changed, their feelings about sense of self, but also how they feel about their own HIV diagnosis, community connection…

So it’s a really holistic way of approaching peer navigation and any kind of client support.

And more generally, how has it helped the evaluation of the peer programs.

Specifically, I think it just helps us see what we are doing well, what we can improve, and also through self-evaluation…

So, you get these insights and gleams that you wouldn’t normally capture with, you know, kind of regular collection of: “Was that a good meeting? Was there satisfaction? Did you feel satisfied?” They go a lot deeper. And, yeah, it has been really interesting just to see how people rate the program as well and how they feel connected to it.

And it is a really emotional response. So it’s also really anecdotal but also really interesting data that’s coming in.

And through the self-evaluation as well, it’s a chance to see that in our times with these clients, are we are we always talking about HIV or does other stuff come up? How that has happened. Do we feel supported? And did we feel a sense of satisfaction post those meetings.

So yeah, again, it’s just a really holistic way of working and really, really truly evaluating what you’re doing and how it’s flowing.

Can you tell me a bit about benefits of using PozQoL for your clients?

I sort of touched on it a bit, but I think the benefits of using PozQoL with the clients is also self-reflection. So as I was talking about our own self-evaluation, they get that as well, and I’ve noted…

Like especially with some multicultural clients, or clients where English is their second or third language in some cases, we’ve sat down and done the PozQoL surveys with them and it’s been this really interesting moment of self-reflection for them.

And you can see when these certain questions come. And it it’s a really nice opportunity, not just for them to be thinking about, “oh, my engagement with the peer navigator”. It’s also what’s been happening for them on their own journey.

And that’s been reflected back to me as well from other clients that do it by themselves that it’s been a really nice reflective process.

And to see how far they’ve come!

You mentioned this before we started chatting about how you’re getting a bit better understanding of the impact of your work. So could you talk a little bit about that?

Yeah, definitely. So again with our meetings that we have, I think…

You know, we’re on the ground and we’re doing the work, and… You’re busy! You’re working in the community and you don’t really get to see that bigger picture. So PozQoL’s given us these opportunities when we get together to actually see how people are tracking.

There’s also been some qualitative interviews done with some participants of the PozQoL surveys, which has also given us even more anecdotal stuff to actually see that contact with the peer navigator has huge impacts on people’s success of staying on treatment, retaining in care, accessing community to the point that then our job’s redundant.

They’re just linked into community and we just see them at events everyone now and again.

Well, pre-COVID obviously!

But, yeah, it is. It’s really powerful. And it does, it keeps you going. The feedback that we’ve been getting has been really helpful to keep us motivated as a team, and to keep going to work, because we know that it’s successful.

The last thing I wanted to ask was sort of more logistical. Is PozQoL easy to implement and do you have any tips for other organisations who might like to implement it?

It has been really easy to implement. It’s a really clear, simple survey.

Again, working with multicultural clients, or clients who  have English as a second language or third language… Even then it’s still been quite simple to use and share with those clients. We want to capture data from all walks of life.

I think as far as implementing, it’s simple. It’s online. You can have hard-copied versions if you need it as well.

I haven’t really been part of the implementation but as somebody who’s used it for myself and clients, I have found it really easy to use.

There’s email updates, reminders…

Yeah, it’s a really simple program. “Bang for buck”: Short survey but high impact. Which is awesome!

Awesome. Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Just thanks to the team at La Trobe and ARCSHS for getting this program up and running because it has, it’s been really, really interesting to be part of it and, yeah, just to see just to see how our program and team’s growing. So…


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Header image from ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock’s HIV in View collection