Using The Community Guide
The Community Guide is a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF). It is a resource to help you select interventions to improve health and prevent disease in your state, community, community organization, business, healthcare organization, or school.
Communities, businesses, the U.S. military, healthcare systems, schools, public health departments, employers, and related groups can rely on The Community Guide when deciding how to best use limited resources to tackle a broad range of health challenges. Skip the step of researching intervention approaches and feel confident about your options, knowing CPSTF recommendations are based on credible, rigorous, systematic reviews that consider all relevant, high-quality evidence. Ready to start exploring?
- The Community Guide has a curated list of resources to walk you through the steps of needs assessment, intervention selection, implementation, and evaluation.
- Inquire about trainings – The Community Guide presents to public health partners, boards of health, community-based organizations, and federal agencies who provide guidance and support to communities across the nation.
- Check out The Community Guide – Public Health Accreditation Board Standards Crosswalk (1.5), designed to help health departments identify evidence-based interventions that conform with PHAB standards and measures.
- Use The Community Guide Flyer [PDF – 1 MB] to inform your partners and community members about The Community Guide and what works to promote health.
The Community Guide includes recommendations and findings for policies that can be implemented in schools, businesses, and organizations or at local, state, or federal levels.
The Community Guide helps decision makers:
- Identify which policies promote public health and at what cost
- Draft evidence-based policies and legislation
- Justify funding decisions and proposals
- Support policies and legislation that promote health and safety
CPSTF findings for public health policies include.
- Tobacco Use: Smoke-Free Policies
- Motor Vehicle Injury Child Safety Seats: Laws Mandating Use
- Vaccination Programs: Requirements for Child Care, School, and College Attendance
Learn more from the following resources:
- Translating evidence into policy: lessons learned from the case of lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers. Mercer SL, Sleet DA, Elder RA, Cole KH, RA Shults, Nichols JL. Annals of Epidemiology 2010;20(6):412-20.
- Read how the CPSTF findings help the United States Armed Forces meet their health objectives
The Community Guide relies on researchers to conduct studies that can be used in systematic reviews. In each review, CPSTF identifies evidence gaps to point out where more, or better, studies are needed to address questions about effectiveness, applicability, and harms. Scientists can use CPSTF findings of insufficient evidence and identified gaps to develop research agendas, conduct studies, and possibly even secure funding.
Use The Community Guide to educate public health professionals, assist with student projects, and inform communities about evidence-based interventions.
Professors and Educators could:
- Design course content about the systematic review process, evidence-based public health, and the importance of independent, science-based decision-making in public health
- Share information with students in other disciplines, such as nursing, program planning, or policy
- Identify research topics
- Direct students to use The Community Guide when developing funding requests or planning programs
Foundations, agencies, and organizations that wish to fund evidence-based programs or help fill evidence gaps can use The Community Guide to inform decisions and justify interventions.
Organizations Providing Funds:
Agencies and foundations that fund community-based programs can build CPSTF findings into their grant guidance and planning criteria and feel confident the money will be well-spent. Similarly, organizations that fund public health research and program evaluation can point applicants toward evidence gaps identified by the CPSTF or encourage them to evaluate intervention approaches found to have insufficient evidence.
Organizations Seeking Funds:
The Community Guide synthesizes a vast body of research into a list of what works in public health. It provides supporting details and full disclosure of the systematic review process that organizations can use to justify and add credibility to grant proposals and funding requests. The Community Guide also saves time by making findings, references, and recommendations readily available for use.
Sort and filter CPSTF findings to identify recommendations that are relevant to your needs.
Read Community Guide in Action stories to learn how other communities have used CPSTF recommendations to improve population health.