QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMS
What is evidence-based practice?
Evidence-based practice is empirically researched approach which is proven to have measurable positive outcomes.
What is the difference between evidence-based practice and best practices?
What advantages are there to participating in evidence-based programs?
There are a number of advantages to selecting and implementing EBPs.
Increased likelihood of the program working: EBPs are based on rigorous study of interventions and model programs carried out with multiple populations in a variety of settings. So, there is an increased likelihood of the program working.
Ease of use: The manual developed by EBP designers provides step-by-step instructions so the programs can be easily implemented in community settings. Additionally most of these programs comes with evaluation materials so that the community organizations do not need to develop and assess the validity on their own.
Securing funding: Many funding agencies and policymakers require that their funding be used only for evidence-based programs and activities. The positive outcomes demonstrated in research can help secure funding for EBPs.
Participants buy in: Because of technological advancements, potential participants have easier access to information regarding various health promotion programs via the internet. It is increasingly common for potential participants to seek out or request programs that are evidence-based.
What are some of disadvantages of EBPs?
What is organizational readiness?
Organizational Readiness is assessment of certain factors that increases the chances of the organization’s success in EBP implementation. These include organizational capacity, organization’s knowledge of evidence-based programming, review of strategic plan (long-term goals and the short-term implementation steps for getting there), stakeholder’s support and available resources
Is there a tool that can be used to assess organizational readiness?
We have provided Readiness Questions in our toolkit that can help organizations’ assess their readiness. Please refer to http://evidencetoprograms.com/section/1/3 and follow the links provided for further (sub) sections for readiness questions.
CHOOSING A PROGRAM
How do I select a program best suited for my community?
When selecting a program it is important to keep your audience in mind. In Section 2.7 (http://evidencetoprograms.com/section/2/7), we have listed some of the factors to consider while selecting a program that would suit best for your community.
What are the steps and resources used in selecting and implementing evidence-based programs?
There are multiple steps involved in selecting and implementing EBPs. These include:
Develop measurable process and outcome objectives to assess progress in addressing these health issues.
Select effective interventions to help achieve these objectives
Implement selected interventions
Evaluate selected interventions based on objectives; use this information to improve program
Where do I find evidence-based programs?
A number of federal agencies and respected research organizations “certify” or “endorse” programs that meet the organizations’ specified standards for effectiveness. Many of these agencies have established on-line registries, of lists of EBPs that they have identified as effective.
In Section 2.3 “Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions” (http://evidencetoprograms.com/section/2/3) we have a list of databases for EBPs.
Why do I need to conduct an evaluation?
Various funding agencies want to be sure that the programs they support deliver what they promise. Conducting program evaluation provides this assurance. Also, it helps organization take a critical look at the program for their own purposes, to learn where it is working well and what changes they may need to make in order to optimize the results.
What is an outcome evaluation?
An outcome evaluation is a formal study to assess the effectiveness of a program in producing change. It helps to judge whether a program is working or not. Its aim is to find changes (if any) in participants and show that they result directly from participants’ experience in the program and not from other factors.
What is process evaluation?
Process evaluation assesses the delivery of a program. It helps stakeholders see how a program outcome was achieved. It examines factors such as the extent to which the program is being implemented as designed, whether the target population is being reached, and the quality of program delivery.
How do I prepare to do an outcome evaluation?
To prepare for an outcome evaluation, you must first know whether your program is doing what it set out to do. Second, you must choose a research design for the evaluation and gather the appropriate information.
IMPLEMENTING WITH FIDELITY
What is fidelity?
Fidelity is defined as the extent to which a program is implemented as designed by the developer. It is usually measured by adherence to the program, quantity and quality of delivery and participant’s acceptance of the program.
Does changing or adapting the original design of an evidence-based program mean that it will not be as effective?
What are some of the strategies for recruiting participants for the program?
There are many marketing strategies to reach out to the audience. These include but not limited to, word of mouth and referrals, disseminating printed materials through various avenues, cross promotion of programs and linking with relevant organizations/ faith groups.
Which marketing strategy should I use for my audience?
Selecting a marketing strategy depends upon where your audience lives, where they congregate, their interests, and their sources of information. If your audience tends to congregate in certain locations such as senior centers or a church, face-to-face meetings and/or hanging posters in these locations and distributing flyers may be beneficial. For computer savvy audience, email or social media could be used. Program champions could also help to promote the program with word-of-mouth marketing.
What are some participant retention strategies?
Offering the program at convenient times and at locations throughout the community
Using participants’ time wisely and offering socialization within the program
Providing incentives / compensation for participation
Encouraging participation from significant others
Involving staff members who are similar to participants and foster familiarity between staff and participants
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