2020 Publication

Practitioner perspective: Building capacity for evidence-based public health involves the use of administrative evidence-based practices

A majority of deaths in the US are attributable to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes and public health systems across the world have been tasked with intervening at the population level to reduce this burden. State health departments are increasingly utilizing evidence-based public health (EBPH) as an important tool to meet population health targets.

Evidence-based public health may be positively or negatively influenced by administrative evidence-based practices (A-EBPs) like workforce development and organizational climate. However, little is known about how state health department practitioners view A-EBPs.

A total of twenty-seven telephone interviews were conducted with state health department (SHD) practitioners in four states (5–8 interviews per state) to understand their views about how A-EBPs are implemented and what hinders and supports their use.

What were the key findings?

  • Implementing evidence-based public health is challenging but can be facilitated at the organizational level using A-EBPs.
  • Practitioners reported successes (e.g., leaders dedicated to evidence-based public health) and challenges (e.g., forming and maintaining partnerships) to using A-EBPs.
  • Knowledge of practitioners’ views of how A-EBPs operate within their SHD can inform development of effective strategies to improve agency capacity that are relevant to practitioners and ultimately improve public health practice.

Findings from this study can inform the development of efforts to improve the use of A-EBPs and organizational capacity of state health departments, and thus advance the implementation evidence-based public health. Read the full article here.