Tools for Implementing an Evidence-Based Approach in Public Health Practice
Julie A. Jacobs, Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Ellen Jones, School of Health Related Professions,
Barbara A. Gabella, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,
Ross C. Brownson,
Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110324. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110324. July 20th, 2012
Available online at: http://bit.ly/NaFy70
“…..Increasing disease rates, limited funding, and the ever-growing scientific basis for intervention demand the use of proven strategies to improve population health. Public health practitioners must be ready to implement an evidence-based approach in their work to meet health goals and sustain necessary resources.
We researched easily accessible and time-efficient tools for implementing an evidence-based public health (EBPH) approach to improve population health. Several tools have been developed to meet Evidence-Based Approach in Public Health Practice EBPH needs, including free online resources in the following topic areas: training and planning tools,
Key elements of Evidence-Based Approach in Public Health Practice EBPH are engaging the community in assessment and decision making; using data and information systems systematically; making decisions on the basis of the best available peer-reviewed evidence (both quantitative and qualitative); applying program-planning frameworks (often based in health-behavior theory); conducting sound evaluation; and disseminating what is learned….”
“…..Selected Tools and Resources for Evidence-Based Public Health (EBPH)
Evidence-Based Public Health (http://prcstl.wustl.edu/EBPH/Pages/ EvidenceBasedPublicHealthCourse.aspx). Features slides from the course developed by the
Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. (http://cancercontrolplanet.cancer.gov). The P.L.A.N.E.T. portal walks practitioners through an evidence-based process for cancer control, providing easy access to data and evidence-based resources. Topics include diet/nutrition, physical activity, tobacco control, and more. Step 4 includes practical details on interventions such as time and resources required and suitable settings. The Community Tool Box (http://ctb.ku.edu). This comprehensive resource offers more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance on a wide range of skills essential for promoting community health. Tool kits (under “Do the Work” tab) provide outlines, examples, and links to tools for topics such as community assessment and evaluation.
Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation (CHANGE) Tool and Action Guide (www.cdc.gov/healthycommunitiesprogram/ tools/change.htm). Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this tool focuses on assessment and planning. It provides Microsoft Excel (Microsoft,
It is recommended for prioritizing action planning and tracking annual progress in key policy and environmental strategies.
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) (www.naccho.org/topics/infrastructure/mapp/index.cfm).
The MAPP model, developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, guides practitioners through a complete planning process, from beginning organizational steps through assessment and action planning, implementation, and evaluation. The website contains a comprehensive user handbook, a clearinghouse of resources, and stories from the field.
YMCA Community Healthy Living Index (www.ymca.net/communityhealthylivingindeX). This site provides assessment tools and planning guides for 6 key community settings: after-school child care sites, early childhood programs, neighborhoods, schools, worksites, and the community at large.
CDC Program Evaluation (www.cdc.gov/eval/index.htm). This site contains step-by-step manuals and other evaluation resources, including the CDC Framework for Program Evaluation.
US surveillance systems
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (www.cdc.gov/brfss). BRFSS tracks health conditions and risk behaviors annually, using a standard core questionnaire that allows state-specific data to be compared across strata. An interactive menu generates prevalence and trend data by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and income level. The SMART (Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends) project provides local data for selected cities and counties.
CDC WONDER (http://wonder.cdc.gov/). CDC WONDER (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research) provides a single point of access to public health surveillance data and a wide variety of CDC reports, guidelines, and reference materials. Data sets available for query include mortality, natality, cancer incidence, HIV/AIDS, and more.
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) (www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs). YRBSS monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults in the
County Health Rankings (www.countyhealthrankings.org/). Counties in each of the 50 states are ranked according to surveillance data on health outcomes and a broad range of health factors. For each state, data can be downloaded as a Microsoft Excel file; links for relevant state-specific data websites are provided.
Policy tracking and surveillance
National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) (www.ncsl.org/). NCSL provides access to current state and federal legislation and a comprehensive list of state documents, including state statutes, constitutions, legislative audits, and research reports.
State Cancer Legislative Database Program (www.scld-nci.net/). The National Cancer Institute maintains this database of state cancer-related health policy.
Systematic reviews and evidence-based guidelines
Guide to Community Preventive Services (the Community Guide) (www.thecommunityguide.org). The Task Force on Community Preventive Services has systematically reviewed more than 200 interventions to produce evidence-based recommendations on population-level interventions. Topics currently include adolescent health, alcohol, asthma, birth defects, cancer, diabetes, health communication, health equity, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, mental health, motor vehicle injury, nutrition, obesity, oral health, physical activity, the social environment, tobacco use, vaccines, violence, and worksite health.
The Cochrane Library (www.cochrane.org). More than 5,000 systematic reviews are published in the Cochrane Library, including clinical and population-based interventions and economic evaluations. The Cochrane Public Health Group produces reviews on the effects of population-level interventions (www.ph.cochrane.org).
The Campbell Collaboration (www.campbellcollaboration.org). This international research network produces systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, and social welfare.
Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry (https://research.tufts-nemc.org/cear4/home.aspX). This registry offers detailed information on nearly 3,000 cost-effectiveness analyses covering a wide array of diseases and intervention types. ….
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