Why is it important to use evidence for decision making in public health?

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Dec 8, 2022

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“During the past 10 years, substantial advances have been made in the core components of evidence-based public health. Most importantly, the number of evidence-based public health interventions and programs has grown” (Callahan & Stuart, 2018). These programs and interventions are the result of using randomized trials, systematic studies, and other study designs that provide results about the intervention, program effects, and evaluations. Scientists and researchers have long understood the value of well-designed and implemented research studies. However, while many may pursue science or research simply for the knowledge, most endeavors are pursued for the greater good, such as those to advance public health practice.
Despite advances in study designs, technology, and the means of sharing information around the world, “the gap between scientific evidence and public health practice is still large” (Callahan & Stuart, 2018). If the evidence is backed by sound scientific methods and research, why aren’t the interventions and programs adopted by those who make the decisions and policies? Why does a gap exist, and how can public health professionals breach the gap?
As a scholar-practitioner pursuing your advanced degree in public health, you will be gaining knowledge and experience to conduct necessary research to provide the evidence needed to guide public health decisions. You will also learn how to interpret and apply evidence to public health programs and policies. In this Discussion, you will analyze the importance of using evidence for decision making. You will also examine several examples of peer-reviewed, evidence-based public health policies and decisions. In addition, you will consider the barriers to evidence-based practice in public health.
Reference
Callahan, K. M. & Stuart, E. A. (2018). Bringing evidence to bear on public health in the United States. Public Health Reports, 133, 20S–23S.
Write a post in which you explain what evidence-based public health (EBPH) practice is. Your post should address the following prompts:
What is evidence-based public health (EBPH) practice?
Why is it important to use evidence for decision making in public health?
How do different types of evidence impact decision making in public health? Cite examples from the articles you read.
What are some of the challenges or barriers to evidence-based practice in public

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