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Using the Plan-Do-Study-Act model: Pacesetters experiences

Moule, Pam; Evans, David; Pollard, Katherine


Pam Moule

David Evans
Professor in Health Services Research


Purpose: This article aims to analytically review the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model used in the Pacesetters national programme evaluation. Design/methodology/approach: The evaluation team's two-fold role is outlined: supporting project teams to develop PDSA plans and collect evaluation data. Four case studies are used to show the PDSA model's application and effect in a participatory action learning approach. Despite limitations, it is clear that all four case studies illustrate the PDSA model's potential benefits in a participatory evaluation approach, which involves public and patients. Findings: The model's effectiveness is premised on several enabling factors such as: teams appreciating the model; a climate that values all learning and open to re-planning; engaging any external evaluators whose role is clearly communicated to all project stakeholders in a timely fashion. Practical implications: There are clear intentions to promote evidence-based commissioning in the UK that values patient and public involvement. The PDSA model has the potential to test and implement changes in real work-place settings and to involve the public in evaluation. Originality/value: Case study analysis identifies new reflections on the PDSA model's use to support innovative NHS practice development with public involvement in a participatory approach. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Moule, P., Evans, D., & Pollard, K. (2013). Using the Plan-Do-Study-Act model: Pacesetters experiences. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 26(7), 593-600.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Sep 20, 2013
Journal International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Print ISSN 0952-6862
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 7
Pages 593-600
Keywords plan-do-study-act, patient involvement, public involvement, participatory evaluation, health inequalities, UK
Public URL
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