Understanding Evidence Ratings
To ensure that programs are meaningful and have the greatest potential to affect desired change, it’s critical that they are unbiased, significant to public health, and rooted in science, experience, and policy. They should show results that are statistically significant and lead to decisions that bring about change. By understanding what has worked in the past, we can build programs on proven successes.1 The evidence base includes peer-reviewed findings, promising practices, and other state ESMs currently in use. Evidence-based/informed programs should be:
- Agreed upon by expert consensus.
- Based in science.
- Clearly reflect actual experience.
- Developed with the potential to influence policy.
- Expressly address the needs of your community.2
The MCH Evidence Center has analyzed thousands of interventions to find strategies that have the potential to be effective in practice. These strategies can be mapped across a continuum of evidence that facilitates the most rigorous MCH science while also encouraging innovation:3
1 Definition attributed to Milos Jenicek (1997). Retrieved from Evidence-based Medicine to Evidence-based Public Health, NYU Health Sciences Library.
2 Hagan JF. Making Bright Futures Work! How Evidence, the Periodicity Schedule, and the Bright Futures Guidelines Impact Practice. Presentation for Pediatric Care Online.
3 Adapted from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. What Works for Health.