Evidence-based programs for older adults

This website was brought to my attention through a Gerontological Society of America community forum. It was a message by Alan Stevens, the Holleman-Rampy Centennial Chair in Gerontology and Director of the Center for Applied Health Research at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, TX.

This website is a free resource and provides a toolkit with some great information describing evidence-based programs, how to select and implement, and evaluate these programs, and more. Click on the title below to go to the website.

Toolkit on Evidence-Based Programming for Seniors!

As part of the NIH-funded Community Research Center for Senior Health, we have created a new web-based resource in the arena of evidence based programs (EBPs) – Evidencetoprograms.com

The website is designed for community-based organizations who are interested/mission driven to provide health interventions for seniors. This tool can be used by seasoned professionals and those less familiar with the topic alike. Users can explore paths for learning how to select an EBP as well as how to implement a selected program. This is also a valuable educational tool for universities.

From the website:

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A PROGRAM TO BE EVIDENCE-BASED?

Health promotion programs that have been found to produce positive outcomes based on the results of rigorous evaluations are often termed “evidence-based.” To be identified as an evidence-based program (EBP), an intervention or program must be thoroughly evaluated by researchers who are able to attribute positive outcomes to the intervention itself.

When you look at various programs to see if they are evidence-based, you will come across many evaluation study designs. You do not need to be an expert in research methods to understand these study designs, but it is useful to understand some basic terms. The following terms are used when describing participants in studies.

  • Experimental group – Individuals in the experimental group are taking part in the program that is being evaluated in the study.
  • Comparison group – Individuals in the comparison group are not taking part in the program that is being evaluated. They may not be enrolled in any program or they may be enrolled in some alternative program. Members of the comparison group may or may not be similar in characteristics to the members of the experimental group.
  • Control group – Individuals in the control group are not taking part in the program that is being evaluated; however, they may be enrolled in some alternative program. Members of the control group are likely similar in characteristics to members of the experimental group.

When evaluation researchers have identified evidence supporting a particular program, they will often publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Publishing their findings allows experts in the field who are not associated with the evaluation to examine the evaluation and determine if they agree with the methods used and with the conclusions drawn about the effects of the program. Evaluation researchers may also submit evidence to research organizations and federal agencies that will examine the evidence and approve or endorse the programs they find to have solid bases of evidence. This approval or endorsement communicates to others in the field that these programs have met various standards of effectiveness (see Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for more information).

Check out Community Research Center for Senior Health. Toolkit on Evidence-Based Programming for Seniors for more information!!

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