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Finding EBPs

There are a few key sources of substantive information about evidence-based practices in substance abuse assessment and treatment practices. For the best detail on about the level of evidence of effectiveness and ratings regarding the ease of implementation for various practices, please visit SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. This site is continually updated as programs and practices are reviewed and rated.

You may also wish to review the Southern Coast ATTC Regional Center's Compendium of Evidence Based Practices (last updated in 2008). Get it for FREE here!

Evaluating EBPs

As you consider using a new program or practice, it is important to look at the strength of the evidence about that program or practice that leads to a specific clinical outcome. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a model for thinking about the rigor behind a given practice.

The Tiers of Evidence Framework

CDC's Tiers of Evidence Framework

Tiers I and II comprise the evidence-based interventions, because they are based on direct, high-quality, empirical evidence that demonstrates a reduction in HIV/STD incidence or reduced HIV-related risk behaviors. Tiers III and IV comprise the theory-based interventions, which are based on sound behavioral science theory, but do not have sufficient empirical evidence to satisfy CDC criteria for evidence-based interventions. These interventions, however, do have some empirical evidence in the form of process data or outcome monitoring data. A brief description of the criteria needed to be satisfied for an intervention to be classified into one of these four tiers is presented in the Tiers of Evidence Table. The lowest category in the Tiers of Evidence diagram, “unevaluated interventions,” represents all other interventions that may still exist but have never really been evaluated.

The graphic below illustrates that Tier I and II interventions are at the top of the pyramid indicating they are currently included in the category of strongest evidence, while interventions on the bottom represent those that have never been evaluated and have no evidence. This framework also acknowledges the current state of the science and prevention field by having the size of each tier represent the existing number of interventions within each tier (i.e., currently there are a large and unknown number of existing interventions that have never been evaluated, while there are a smaller number of interventions identified as evidence-based (Tier I or Tier II) interventions).
























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