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"Evidence, what evidence?" An exploration of the factors influencing the development of HIV health promotion projects for gay men.
Corrigan N; Dockrell M
December 30, 1998
Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:1081 (abstract no. 60441). Unique Identifier :

ISSUES: The current climate demands an evidence base for HIV health promotion projects, but neither professionals nor volunteers in the field of gay men's work have a shared understanding of what constitutes evidence. Many successful projects seem to be built on intuition or heavily influenced by the worker's personal experiences. PROJECT: 12 gay men's workers in Greater London (all gay men themselves) were interviewed at length about a particular HIV health promotion project they had developed. In an unstructured interview they were encouraged to describe in detail the conception, development and realisation of the project and then explore the variety of ways the project had been influenced. The interviews were thematically analysed and these preliminary results fed back to interviewees and discussed in a focus group. RESULTS: (1) The evidence on which workers based projects was more likely to be of a social, political, and psychosocial nature than a formal research nature. (2) A broader definition of evidence allowed workers to be more innovative in their project design. (3) Workers placed a high value on their personal experience and intuition and many felt this was being increasingly devalued by the emphasis on a narrow view of evidence. CONCLUSIONS: (1) A project that reflects the identity of the worker can be an appropriate intervention for that particular type of person, however there is no evidence to suggest gay men's workers fully reflect the community they aim to influence. (2) Worker training needs to explore the different definitions of evidence and the appropriate use of the different types.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Health Promotion/*METHODS *Homosexuality, Male Human HIV Infections/*PREVENTION & CONTROL London Male Research Design

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