Community science: bridging the gap between science and practice with community-centered models

Am J Community Psychol. 2003 Jun;31(3-4):227-42. doi: 10.1023/a:1023954503247.


A major goal of community science is to improve the quality of life in our communities by improving the quality of the practice of treatment, prevention, health promotion, and education. Community science is an interdisciplinary field, which develops and researches community-centered models that enable communities to use evidence-based interventions more effectively and efficiently. In this article, the gap between science and practice and the need to bridge the gap with new models serve as an entry point and guide to the development of a community science. Therefore, the article describes (1) the "prevention science" model of bringing science to practice, (2) why this model is necessary but not sufficient for influencing the quality of interventions in our everyday world, (3) the gap between science and practice and the need to integrate "prevention science" models with community-centered models in order to bridge the gap, and (4) features of community science.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Mental Health Services / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Science*
  • United States