Leadership, Management and Workforce Development
Sharing Session - 30 Minutes
As a science based field often dealing with controversial issues, public health is particularly concerned with evidence based practice as a way to establish credibility and legitimacy. Yet, public health practitioners often struggle to find evidence based approaches and interventions that are really relevant to the complex problems faced in practice. Most of the public health literature that publishes research findings which might inform evidence based practice is overly technical reflecting the interests and methods of academic researchers. Practitioners are left to discover what is purported to be best practices at the conferences and newsletters of public health professional associations. While these reports from the field are interesting and relevant, they are often overly descriptive and lack critical depth needed to evaluate the results and their applicability outside of the settings in which they are described. The lack of practice relevant journals in the public health field reflects the long standing gap between academia and practice and the paucity of research that is actually conducted on practice relevant issues, directly in practice settings, and in collaboration with practitioners. While the need for more practice relevant research to inform evidence based practice has long been recognized, having more practice relevant journals can be a critical point of intervention to spur more practice relevant research and build the base of public health practice.