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Outcome Evaluation of a State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan: Laying the Foundation

Alberg, Anthony J. PhD, MPH; Cartmell, Kathleen B. MPH; Sterba, Katherine R. PhD, MPH; Bolick, Susan MSPH; Daguise, Virginie G. PhD, MSPH; Hébert, James R. ScD, MSPH

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: July/August 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 300–307
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31825d208c
Original Articles

Context: Rigorous outcome evaluation is essential to monitor progress toward achieving goals and objectives in comprehensive cancer control plans (CCCPs).

Objective: This report describes a systematic approach for an initial outcome evaluation of a CCCP.

Design: Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluation framework, the evaluation focused on (1) organizing cancer plan objectives by anatomic site and risk factors, (2) rating each according to clarity and data availability, (3) the subsequent evaluation of clearly stated objectives with available outcome data, and (4) mapping allocation of implementation grants for local cancer control back to the CCCP objectives.

Setting: South Carolina.

Main Outcome Measures: Evaluation outcomes included (1) a detailed account of CCCP objectives by topic area, (2) a systematic rating of level of clarity and availability of data to measure CCCP objectives, (3) a systematic assessment of attainment of measurable objectives, and (4) a summary of how cancer control grant funds were allocated and mapped to CCCP objectives.

Results: A system was developed to evaluate the extent to which cancer plan objectives were measurable as written with data available for monitoring. Twenty-one of 64 objectives (33%) in the South Carolina's CCCP were measurable as written with data available. Of the 21 clear and measurable objectives, 38% were not met, 38% were partially met, and 24% were met. Grant allocations were summarized across CCCP chapters, revealing that prevention and early detection were the most heavily funded CCCP areas.

Conclusions: This evaluation highlights a practical, rigorous approach for generating evidence required to monitor progress, enhance planning efforts, and recommend improvements to a CCCP.

This report describes an initial process and outcome evaluation of South Carolina's comprehensive cancer control plan (CCCP) that was conducted to generate evidence for monitoring progress and recommending improvements to the CCCP. This approach involves engaging stakeholders, establishing an evaluation design, gathering the necessary evidence to measure results, and ensuring that stakeholders use the evaluation results.

Hollings Cancer Center and Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina (Drs Alberg and Sterba and Ms Cartmell); South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Columbia, South Carolina (Ms Bolick and Dr Daguise); and University of South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Program and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, South Carolina (Dr Hebert).

Correspondence: Anthony J. Alberg, PhD, MPH, Hollings Cancer Center and Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 68 President St, Ste BE103-S, MSC 955, Charleston, SC 29425 (

This research was funded by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance, the Hollings Cancer Center (P30 CA138313), the Medical University of South Carolina (UL1 RR029882), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48 DP001936), and the National Cancer Institute (U54 CA153461 [to J.R.H.] and K05 CA136975 [to J.R.H.]).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.