Evidence-informed public health is “the process of distilling and disseminating the best available evidence from research, practice, and experience and using that evidence to inform and improve public health policy and practice. Put simply, it means finding, using and sharing what works in public health.” 1
There are many published resources detailing the implementation of an evidence-informed approach to public health practice. The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools at McMaster University provides a Model for Evidence-Informed Decision Making in Public Health that is widely accepted by public health professionals.
1 National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (2011, May 31). Evidence-informed public health. Retrieved from http://www.nccmt.ca/eiph/index-eng.html
Define the problem and formulate a good question in response to the information need.
— Question Development Workshop Slides (SLSP)
— To PICO or not to PICO: What is the question? (PHO)
— Determining the scope of the review and the questions it will address (Cochrane)
— Evidence-informed public health: define (NCCMT)
— Right Review simple questions to suggest knowledge synthesis methods
Search the literature for the best available evidence.
— Literature Searching (MLHU Library)
— Searching in the Virtual Library [Video] MLHU
— Searching for and selecting studies (Cochrane)
— Lifting the cloud: an introduction to grey literature [Slides] (SLSP)
— How to find and use grey literature for scoping reviews [Webinar] (PHO)
— Levels of the Pyramid [PDF] (SLSP)
Critically appraise the relevant literature found.
— MetaQAT - Critical Appraisal Tool (PHO)
— CASP Checklists (CASP UK)
— Grade Handbook
— Public Health Ontario guide to appraising grey literature (PHO)
— Evidence-informed public health: appraise (NCCMT)
Synthesize and interpret the evidence to create recommendations that address the question.
— Summarizing study characteristics and preparing for synthesis (Cochrane)
— Interpreting results and drawing conclusions (Cochrane)
— Evidence-informed public health: synthesize (NCCMT)
Adapt the evidence and recommendations to the local context based on community needs,
political will, economic/staff resources, and professional/community preferences.
— HEIA: Health equity impact assessment (MHLTC)
— Equity and specific populations (Cochrane)
— Evidence-informed public health: adapt (NCCMT)
Implement the adapted evidence and recommendations.
— Planning health promotion programs (PHO)
— Policy & program planning, implementation & evaluation (PHAC)
— Evidence-Informed public health: implement (NCCMT)
Evaluate the effects of the decisions and actions taken.
— Evaluating health promotion programs: introductory workbook (PHO)
— Evidence-informed public health: evaluate (NCCMT)