Suicide Bereavement Support Service: final evaluation report

Final report of the evaluation of the Suicide Bereavement Support Service (SBSS).

2. Evaluation fieldwork and data collection activity

A summary of the fieldwork and data collection activity that has been carried out over the duration of the 30-month evaluation of the service is provided in the following sections.

2.1 Collection and analysis of service monitoring data

Penumbra and Change Mental Health have provided the evaluation team with monitoring data relating to service activity and demographic information about the people the service has supported. This data spans the period from the service launch in August 2021, until the end of September 2023. The data was collated and analysed using Microsoft Excel.

2.2 Engagement with service staff

To explore the implementation and delivery of the service, a combination of one-to-one interviews and group discussions were used to engage with service leads and service managers from the two pilot sites. One-to-one interviews were conducted with frontline service practitioners in the pilot areas. This activity was repeated at five points (August/September 2021, 2022 and 2023, February/March 2022 and 2023) over the duration of the evaluation.

2.3 Engagement with local and National stakeholders

One-to-one interviews with 32 local and national stakeholders were undertaken over the duration of the evaluation, to explore their perceptions of the service and how it may have contributed to the support landscape and suicide prevention agenda in each locality.

Stakeholders included:

  • Organisations that referred people to the service or received referrals from the service.
  • Members of local steering groups for the service in each pilot area.
  • Those with a role in suicide prevention in each pilot area.
  • Members of the pilot’s National Oversight Group.

2.3 Engagement with people receiving support from the service

One-to-one interviews were undertaken with a sample of people who had engaged with the service, and who had consented to participating in the evaluation, to explore their experiences of the support they had received and any outcomes that had been gained as a result.

Over the duration of the evaluation 46 supported people engaged with the evaluation. Of those 46 individuals, 17 engaged in a second one-to-one interview, and of those 17, six participated in a third. Interviews at multiple time points allowed the evaluation to explore people’s experiences and outcomes at different stages of their engagement with the service. During the evaluation extension period, one-to-one interviews were undertaken with 13 people who had been receiving support from the service for 12 months or more, to explore their experiences of the service over the longer-term. Of that 13, nine had previously engaged with the evaluation.

2.4 Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) data

When commissioning the evaluation, the Scottish Government stated a preference that a validated tool was used to support the collection of outcome evidence. A wide range of validated tools that aligned with the anticipated pilot outcomes were identified and considered by the evaluation team. To inform the selection of a validated tool that would be most appropriate for the service and evaluation, consultation with a group of people with lived experience of suicide bereavement was undertaken. An options paper was developed by the evaluation team and presented to the Research Advisory Group established for the pilot, with agreement that Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) would be used.

SWEMWBS was administered three times (baseline, three months, and six months) by service staff with each person they are supporting who provides consent to complete it. There were 45 people whose SWEMWBS scores were measured at the start of their engagement with the service (baseline) and again at three months. Their scores at baseline and after three months were compared using a two-sided paired t-test. Of those, 24 people were also measured at six months, and their SWEMWBS scores were compared to their baseline scores using a two-sided paired t-test. As all the individuals in the six-month group were also in the three-month group, a Bonferroni correction was applied.



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