2018 Conference
April 30 – May 2, 2018
The Westin Westminster
Denver, CO

Delbert Elliott Keynote

Can We Rescue the Concept “Evidence-Based”?

Given current usage of the term “evidence-based”, it has no clear meaning about what constitutes “evidence” and what types and levels of evidence are required to justify this designation. This situation has led to widespread implementation of programs with little evidence of any causal connection between participation in the program and the targeted outcome. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in some dramatic failures of “evidence-based” interventions taken to scale and growing skepticism and loss of public and agency confidence in evidence-based interventions.

A classification of types of evidence and the confidence that can reasonably be claimed for each type is presented. Examples of each type are discussed and a redefinition of “evidence-based” to refer to a type and level of evidence rather than the general evidence continuum is proposed. The significance of this restricted meaning for certification as evidence-based is illustrated with a consideration of whether some popular interventions, like SPEP, should be considered evidence-based.
Delbert Elliott Delbert Elliott, PhD
Director, Program on Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development
University of Colorado Boulder