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National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

Why Evidence-Informed Public Health Matters

From changes in available evidence, to changes in public health resources, the field of public health continuously evolves. Evidence-Informed Public Health (EIPH), the process of using the best available evidence from research, context, and experience in practice, can help you adapt to changes in public health practice. The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) is a trusted organization that can support you to use EIPH in practice. 

Listen to Dr. David Mowat, Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, Carol Timmings, and Dr. Jocelyn Sauvé, discuss why EIPH is and will continue to be important to public health practice. Specifically, EIPH can help public health practitioners: have confidence in decisions, build the business case for public health based on evidence, and ensure resources are being used on solutions that work. Learn from these individuals about an instance where EIPH was used in their public health practice and the impact it had on their work.

Unsure where to start with EIPH? Listen to Dr. Megan Ward, the former Associate Medical Officer of Health at Region of Peel – Public Health, describe how the Region of Peel started with integrating EIPH and evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) into their work.

Learn from public health colleagues across Canada about how they integrated evidence and EIDM into their public health practice with the Evidence-Informed Decision Making Casebook.

The NCCMT is here to support you! The NCCMT has many resources and tools to help you engage in EIPH. These resources are all freely accessible on our website.

We have something for everyone! Start with something quick like our popular Understanding Research Evidence video series, our two abbreviated online learning modules, or our EIDM Skills Assessment. Try our other Online Learning Modules for more intensive training!

  • Understanding Research Evidence video series: 11 short and easy to understand videos that explain common concepts that you are likely to come across when exploring research evidence. Learn about odds ratios, relative risk, confidence intervals, forest plots, and many more.
  • Abbreviated Online Learning Modules: Two online learning modules on EIDM that take approximately 1 hour or less to complete.
             o  EIDM Essentials: Key Issues in Evidence-Informed Decision Making
             o  Introduction to Evidence-Informed Decision Making for Managers
  • EIDM Skills Assessment: A 20 question self-assessment testing EIDM knowledge and skills. The assessment identifies both strengths and gaps in EIDM knowledge and skills and provides a personalized report of NCCMT resources to build capacity in EIDM.
  • Online Learning Modules: These modules take up to approximately four hours per module and cover several different EIDM topic areas including an introduction to evidence-informed decision making, searching for research evidence, four modules on critical appraisal of different research designs, and many more.
  • 6S Search pyramid: Use the interactive 6S pyramid to explore the six levels of evidence and find helpful databases to search for research evidence at all levels. 
  • Health Evidence™: A repository of over 5,600 quality appraised systematic reviews evaluating the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of public health interventions to help you find public health research.
  • Registry of Methods and Tools: Search over 270 knowledge translation methods and tools to help you use evidence in practice.
  • Applicability and Transferability of Evidence Tool: This tool can help you make decisions about priorities for public health programs, and to determine whether a program or policy is relevant or feasible in your context. This tool helps you assess factors related to applicability and transferability, including social acceptability, available resources, and target population characteristics, among others.

Have questions about how you can integrate evidence-informed decision making into your work, or how the NCCMT can help you? Contact us at nccmt@mcmaster.ca

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