Primary author: Paul Herman

Evidence Based Interventions

Evidence based interventions (EBI) are interventions that have been studied and have been found to be effective (What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)?, 2010). These are treatments that when implemented have been shown to change a targeted behavior. EBI can indicate how effective the intervention is to a particular population and this data can be used to see how much of an improvement should be anticipated (Overview, 2010). This will assist in making the approach a more mathematical approach. This approach has been used in medicine, psychology, and education.

These interventions are usually monitored through review of prior studies to find the interventions that have the most promise. These reviews are usually done with government grants by government departments or by nonprofit foundations to prevent industry influence from swaying these reviews. As an example Brady et al, from the CDC, categorize the interventions as Recommended, Promising Acts, Watch List, Future Possibility, or unlikely to meet criteria (2009). Brady et al has reviewed arthritis interventions in order to show which interventions are appropriate for an arthritis population (2009). These reviews are only useful if they meet specific criteria. The EBI needs to be validated for a specific purpose with a specific population (What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)?, 2010). EBI assumes that it will be used in the manner in which it was researched (What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)?, 2010). Any change(s) to the protocol can invalidate the EBI (What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)?, 2010). EBI is typically validated by large group studies or a series of small group studies (What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)?, 2010). Studies need to be validated in order for them to be EBI.

EBI provide the framework for implementing academic research into clinical medicine. These interventions can be implemented for individuals, groups, or at a community level. Academic research has shown that a particular intervention can have a positive effect on changing a behavior, but it is difficult to replicate in the community. According to Kilbourne et al there are four phases that can help replicate an effective program in the community (2007). The four phases are pre-conditions, pre-implementation, implementation, and maintenance and evolution (Kilbourne et al, 2007). The pre-conditions phase is to identify the need, target population (Kilbourne et al, 2007). The pre-implementation phase involves intervention packaging and community input (Kilbourne et al, 2007). The implementation phase involves training technical assistance, and evaluation (Kilbourne et al, 2007). Finally the maintenance and evolution phase involves making the intervention sustainable in the community (Kilbourne et al, 2007). In order for this intervention to be successful in the community it needs to flexible, but still follow the validated intervention.

The CDC has implemented a program called Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI). The purpose of DEBI is to “enhance the ability of community providers to deliver proven individual, group and community level interventions to reduce the spread of HIV and STDs, and promote healthy behaviors (Evidence Based Interventions, 2010).” The program was implemented with 18 interventions in the project (Evidence Based Interventions, 2010). This is an example of taking theory that has been proven to be effective and apply it to reduce the spread of STD/HIV.

There are many different applications for evidence based interventions in medicine, psychology, and education. It is important that these interventions are validated prior to being considered an EBI. There are many resources available for researchers to consult to find EBI. Some examples for the medical field are the Cochrane Library publications (Subscription through Ruth Lilly Medical Library and indexed in Pubmed), The Agency for Health and Research Quality (, and are all good places to begin when looking for evidence based medicine.

EBI are interventions that have been systematically proven to be effective. It is important that after identifying a problem that you research what interventions have already been proven effective. Dr. Hess identified a valuable website ( ), which breaks down interventions by types of cancer. I also identified that the Arthritis Foundation ( ) has EBI on its website to show which interventions have been proven to be effective for arthritis. The government and nonprofit foundations can be good sources to get an unbiased look at what interventions have been already proven to be effective. Just like the models that we discussed in this class there are many theories that have been already studied. Many times these theories are not all encompassing and need to modified, but it does provide a place to start. There are studies that may be effective for a student population, but does not apply to a young professional population. This theory may be able to be modified to reach an alternative population. It is important to always use processes that have been identified to be effective from a model.


Brady, T. J., Jernick, S. L., Hootman, J. M., & Sniezek, J. E. (2009). Public health interventions for arthritis: expanding the toolbox of evidence-based interventions. Journal of Womens Health, 1905-1917.
Kilbourne, A. M., Neumann, M. S., Pincus, H. A., Bauer, M. S., & Stall, R. (2007). Implementing evidence-based interventions in health care: application of the replicating effective programs framework. Implementation Science, 1-10.
N.A. (2010, September). State Of New York. Retrieved October 25, 2010, from Evidence Based Interventions:
N.A. (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from East Carolina University Department of Psychology:
N.A. (n.d.). What are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI)? Retrieved October 26, 2010, from East Carolina University Department of Pschology: