Welcome to the LibGuide for Evidence-Based Public Health. We hope that this guide will be a helpful resource for you to study evidence-based practice for public health. This LibGuide begins with an introduction to evidence-based public health, discusses how to form a health question, how to search for evidence while considering the source of the evidence, and evaluating those resources. We have also included a tab of resources. Please use the chat box on the right of this page if you have any questions!
Evidence-Based Public Health is defined as "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of communities and populations in the domain of health protection, disease prevention, health maintenance, and improvement."
Jenicek, M. (1997). "Epidemiology, evidenced-based medicine, and evidence-based public health." J Epidemiol 7(4): 187-197.
When and Why of Using an EBPH Approach
Evidence-based practice is also referred to as “best evidence.” The terminology is important because it emphasizes that it is the quality of evidence that is of primary significance, not the quantity, that is, it is the “best” information that is sought on a particular topic of interest, not the “most” information.
Why is it important to use a best-evidence approach?
Using an EBPH approach can be beneficial because it:
- provides assurance that decision making is based on scientific evidence and effective practices;
- helps ensure the retrieval of up-to-date and reliable information about what works and doesn’t work for a particular public health question;
- provides assurance that one’s time is being used most efficiently and productively in reviewing the “best of the best” information available on the particular public health question.
When is it important to use a best-evidence approach?
A best-evidence approach can be used:
- when it’s important to have scientific evidence to support decision making;
- when evaluating the effectiveness and cost benefits of health programs;
- when implementing new health programs;
- when establishing new policies; and
- when conducting literature reviews for grant projects.
Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce. Public Health Information and Data Tutorial. http://phpartners.org/tutorial/index.html