As a science based field, public health is particularly concerned with identifying and applying evidence based practice especially in dealing with controversial issues, such as Covid 19. Yet, public health practitioners often struggle to find evidence based approaches and interventions that are relevant to complex problems encountered in real world practice. Most public health literature which might inform evidence based practice is overly technical and focused on topics that often reflect the interests and methods of academic researchers, with marginal relevance and applicability. Practitioners are left to themselves to discover best practices from the conferences and newsletters of public health professional associations, the vast gray literature, and the internet, which has become the most frequently used but often unvetted source of practice information.
To address this issue, NACCHO has been exploring the creation of a new journal, devoted exclusively to reporting high-quality evidence-based findings relevant to the real world of public health practice. Over the past year, NACCHO has drawn on the input of practitioners and surveyed members to gauge the degree of need, content focus, and level of support for a new practice journal and will soon release a white paper outlining the results and plans for this new e-journal to inform public health practice.
This session will present the findings from the membership survey along with preliminary plans to move forward and will engage attendees in a dialogue for refining three key areas of the proposed NACCHO sponsored e-journal: (1) specific content focus and criteria to select high-quality and relevant evidence that might inform practice; (2) format that would be of greatest utility to practitioners; and (3) feasibility including journal frequency, sustainability and costs.
Session objectives will include: 1. Defining the type of evidence that would be of greatest utility to practitioners in their day-to-day work. 2. Establishing criteria for material that would be included in the new practice-research journal. 3. Identifying likely stakeholder sponsors and key partners in producing a practice relevant journal. 4. Selecting specific cost effective formats and frequencies for e-journal offerings 5. Deciding next steps in an action plan for production and distribution
The session will be facilitated by D Patrick Lenihan, and Elaine O’Keefe, members of NACCHO’s Past President’s Council.