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Evidence-Based Public Health, by Ross C. Brownson, Elizabeth A. Baker, Terry L. Leet, Kathleen N. Gillespie

Author(s): Goldie MacDonald

Journal: Preventing Chronic Disease
ISSN 1545-1151

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Book review | evidence-based | chronic disease | public health

In a relatively short amount of time, the term “evidence-based public health” has flooded dialogues on program planning, implementation, and evaluation. What is evidence-based public health? Abigail Adams reminded us that “[w]e have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them” (1). In Evidence-Based Public Health, Brownson and colleagues provide not only a precise definition of a complex term but also a stepwise framework for decision making toward improved public health practice. The authors order the text according to a 6-step process for enhancing evidence-based decision making in public health: 1) develop an initial statement of the issue; 2) quantify the issue; 3) search the scientific literature and organize the information; 4) develop and prioritize program options; 5) develop an action plan and implement interventions; and 6) evaluate the program or policy. With every step in the process, the authors provide resources for immediate use, including Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program; the Community Health Status Indicators Project; the Annual Review of Public Health; evidence-based information on health care outcomes, quality, cost, use, and access via the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); the Guide to Community Preventive Services; the Models that Work Campaign to identify and promote innovative community-based models; the Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH); PRECEDE-PROCEED; and the CDC Working Group on Evaluation.

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