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Prev Chronic Dis. 2013 May 30;10:E87. doi: 10.5888/pcd10.120107.

Strengthening chronic disease prevention programming: the Toward Evidence-Informed Practice (TEIP) Program Evidence Tool.

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  • 1Ontario Public Health Association, Toronto, Ontario.

Abstract

In public health and chronic disease prevention there is increasing priority for effective use of evidence in practice. In Ontario, Canada, despite various models being advanced, public health practitioners are seeking ways to identify and apply evidence in their work in practical and meaningful ways. In a companion article, "Strengthening Chronic Disease Prevention Programming: The Toward Evidence-Informed Practice (TEIP) Program Assessment Tool," we describe use of a tool to assess and strengthen program planning and implementation processes using 19 criteria derived from best and promising practices literature. In this article, we describe use of a complementary Program Evidence Tool to identify, synthesize, and apply a range of evidence sources to strengthen the content of chronic disease prevention programming.The Program Evidence Tool adapts tools of evidence-based medicine to the unique contexts of community-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Knowledge management tools and a guided dialogue process known as an Evidence Forum enable community stakeholders to make appropriate use of evidence in diverse social, political, and structural contexts. Practical guidelines and worksheets direct users through 5 steps: 1) define an evidence question, 2) develop a search strategy, 3) collect and synthesize evidence, 4) interpret and adapt evidence, and 5) implement and evaluate. We describe the Program Evidence Tool's benefits, strengths, challenges, and what was learned from its application in 4 Ontario public health departments. The Program Evidence Tool contributes to the development and understanding of the complex use of evidence in community-based chronic disease prevention.

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