Journey Toward Evidence-Based Status: Seeking Admission to Formal Program Registries.


In the past two decades, evidence-based status has been a coveted credential for many nonprofit organizations hoping to legitimize their programs or interventions. Several formal registries exist to provide a collection of health and prevention programs evaluated by experts and deemed "evidence-based." While registries offer positive benefits like allowing for a centralized listing of approved programs, there have been concerns about issues pertaining to the process of obtaining the evidence-based credential. Namely, some of the criticisms include the use of inappropriate study designs, the lack of consistent evaluation of evidence provided in support of programs, as well as program creators being involved in the evaluation that ultimately shows positive program effects. Using focus groups of prevention specialists, this study explores the quest for evidence-based status. The results show themes of vindication, acting as a resource, and perceptions of relevant others informing the deeper meaning of motivation for pursuit of evidence-based status. Additionally, emergent themes of program iteration and evolution inform program preparation. The article shows that while placement on an evidence-based registry is a highly sought-after achievement, many program creators fail to understand the evaluation process for admittance as well as the potential criticisms of the lists.

DOI: 10.1177/1524839916670575

Cite this paper

@article{Stephenson2017JourneyTE, title={Journey Toward Evidence-Based Status: Seeking Admission to Formal Program Registries.}, author={Amber L Stephenson}, journal={Health promotion practice}, year={2017}, volume={18 5}, pages={681-687} }