What is an evidence-informed program?

An evidence-informed program is one that has not been evaluated in a rigorous research study, but does incorporate all of the key features found in effective evidence-based programs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 15 characteristics of effective health education curricula. These characteristics are found in state-of-the-art health education programs that reflect the growing body of research into what makes a program effective in changing risk behaviors. These programs emphasize:

  • Teaching functional health information (essential knowledge).
  • Shaping personal values and beliefs that support healthy behaviors.
  • Shaping group norms that value a healthy lifestyle.
  • Developing the essential health skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviors.

For example, ETR's HealthSmart comprehensive health education curriculum for Grades K through 12 is an evidence-informed program that incorporates all of the characteristics identified by the CDC. 

A complete description of the characteristics can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/sher/characteristics/index.htm.

An explanation of how these characteristics inform HealthSmart can be found here.