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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2008 Mar-Apr;14(2):138-43. doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000311891.73078.50.

Improving the public health workforce: evaluation of a training course to enhance evidence-based decision making.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave, St Louis, MO 63104, USA.


An evidence-based public health (EBPH) course was developed in 1997 by the Prevention Research Center at Saint Louis University School of Public Health to train the public health workforce to enhance dissemination of EBPH in their public health practice. An on-line evaluation of the course was conducted among participants who attended the course from 2001 to 2004 to determine the impact the course had on the implementation of EBPH within their Respective public health agencies (n = 107). The majority of these individuals were program directors, managers, or coordinators working in state health departments. Results from the evaluation Revealed that 90 percent of participants indicated that the course helped them make more informed decisions in the workplace. Respondents identified improvement in their ability to communicate with their coworkers and Read Reports. When asked to identify potential barriers, participants specified that time constraints were the biggest impediment to using EBPH skills in the workplace. These data suggest the importance of professional training opportunities in EBPH for public health practitioners. Future endeavors should focus on overcoming the barriers to the dissemination of EBPH.

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