New book: Designing Evidence-based Public Health and Prevention Programs

book cover for Designing Evidence-based Public Health and Prevention Programs

Designing and implementing a successful evidence-based prevention program can seem like a daunting task.  

Demonstrating that public health and prevention program development is as much art as science, Designing Evidence-based Public Health and Prevention Programs brings together expert program developers to offer practical guidance and principles in developing effective behavior-change curricula. 

Edited by Mark Feinberg, Research Professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC), this collection of stories gives readers a “behind-the scenes” look at how the developers approached creating, refining, testing, and disseminating a range of programs and strategies, addressing a range of physical, mental, and behavioral health problems across the lifespan. 

The book takes readers on a journey with the developers as they describe how their projects began and how they overcame obstacles through creative problem-solving, offering insights that might otherwise be learned in conversation with the experts over coffee. For example, the Recipe 4 Success project targeting obesity among children living in poverty started with a conversation between colleagues in a barn during a PRC retreat.  

Feinberg notes that for most scientists, “the actual construction of a preventive health program consists of an active leap among our knowledge base.” The book illustrates how program developers ventured beyond the scientific realm, exploring the worlds of academic entrepeneurship and community-based research.  

Readers will learn about selecting change-promoting targets based on existing research; developing and creating effective and engaging content; considering implementation and dissemination contexts in the development process; and revising, refining, expanding, abbreviating, and adapting a curriculum across multiple iterations.  

The book is geared toward prevention scientists, prevention practitioners, and program developers in community agencies. It also provides a unique resource for graduate students and postgraduates in family sciences, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, social work, education, nursing, public health, and counseling.

People Mentioned in this Article

Mark E. Feinberg