From research to "best practices" in other settings and populations

Am J Health Behav. 2001 May-Jun;25(3):165-78. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.25.3.2.


Objective: To review the genesis and current status of best practices" thinking, its application in health promotion practice, and in generalizing research to alternate populations, places and times.

Methods: A presbyopic eye is cast over the recent evolution of the concept of "best practices" from medicine to public health.

Results: Some discontinuities are found in the migration of this concept from medicine, where it applies with some consistency to the relatively homogeneous physiology of the human species, to health behaviorwhere social, cultural, economic, and other heterogeneities make the generalizability of any research more suspect.

Conclusions: Health promotion and other applications of health behavioral research need to replace "best practices" with "best processes."

Publication types

  • Address

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics Applications
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Public Health / standards*
  • Research
  • United States