Introduction: Challenges in Reducing Disparities in Reproductive and Perinatal Outcomes Through Evidence-Based Public Health

  • Arden Handler


Over the past decade, there has been an increased focus on the use of “evidence” to enhance practice in the delivery of health and human service. While there are multiple reasons for the advent of evidence-based public health (EBPH), the pressure for increased accountability in public health has arisen in part because of the increasing focus on the generation and use of evidence in the field of clinical medicine (Evidence-Based Medicine), public health’s major partner in improving health status. As a book about the potential of public health approaches to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in reproductive and parinatal health outcomes, the reviews of the variety of interventions discussed within are subject to some of the unique challenges of evidence-based public health in cantrast to those presented by evidence-based medicine (EBM). The focus of this chapter is to briefly discuss the difference between EBPH and EBM and to delineate some of the global and specific challenges that researchers and practitioners face when engaging in EBPH.


Prenatal Care Public Health Intervention Public Health Approach Perinatal Health Improve Health Status 
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Acknowledging these caveats does not preclude making the best possible decisions given the ­current state of knowledge about any particular public health intervention. However, to maximize the ability of public health practice to improve health outcomes, future efforts to develop and implement public health interventions based on the evidence must synergistically consider the evidence as well as the context of both evidence generation and implementation.


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Copyright information

© Springer US 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Health, Community Health SciencesUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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