Australian health promotion practitioners' perceptions on evaluation of empowerment and participation.
This study explored the differences in individual empowerment outcomes of a group of socially disadvantaged women participating in physical activity promotion. The outcomes observed were assessed in the context of the women’s mode of participation and the structural organizational and community level changes, which took place during the implementation of the program. Fifteen semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Two groups of women participated in the interviews—those involved in the whole process of planning, implementation and evaluation of the program and those who took part in the program activities. Individual empowerment outcomes were achieved for all those interviewed, although those participating in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the program achieved the greatest. A number of organizational and community level processes were also identified that supported the individual empowerment of those taking part. This study supports the use of multilevel empowerment approaches to health as they help to identify the ideal characteristics that organizations and communities should possess and the potential structural changes required to support individual empowerment.