What Are Evidence-Based Interventions?

By: Dr. Cheri Shapiro

Evidence-based interventions describe a set of interventions that have been demonstrated, through rigorously conducted research, to be effective in achieving certain specific, identifiable outcomes.

A general example would be a class of interventions known as behavioral parenting interventions.  These interventions focus on parents as the agents of change and have been found to be most effective for youth with challenging behaviors or disruptive behavior disorders.  Improvements achieved with these interventions include:

  • increases in positive parenting and child behaviors,
  • decreases in coercive parenting practices,
  • and in child behavior problems such as aggression.

So, how can we find out about such effective interventions?  One way is to use the many readily available online programs lists or registries.  Prominent examples include:

However, when using these resources, it is important to understand that each list has a unique method for identifying and rating programs.  Thus, you may find certain programs on one list and not on another!

Each of these websites has information on how programs are selected and rated, so be sure to check out that information first.  Happy exploring!