Research Methods for Emerging Evidence

Practice-based evidence (PBE) is derived from real-time practice experience and uses evidence gathered in the field. The complexity of field-based practice for culture-centered communities lends itself to participatory research strategies.

The PBE approach to evidence-building emphasizes an external validity based on community knowledge of why an intervention may or may not work. One important type of field-based evidence is community-defined evidence, which is a type of evidence that communities and researchers create that fits the community's values and needs.

A broad range of culturally appropriate research methods can be used to gain an understanding of program effectiveness with unique populations. PBE can illuminate how cultural practices for behavioral health interventions are discovered, adapted, monitored, and evaluated in real-world contexts.

The PBE approach addresses the research-practice challenge in real-world settings and provides important insight into cultural contexts for practice improvement.

Some research methods used with underserved populations are:

  • Ethnography
  • Focus groups
  • Structured and unstructured interviews
  • Single group pre-test and post-test studies
  • Analysis of extant epidemiological evidence
  • Reviews of existing literature and research
  • Document review
  • Historical analysis

Participatory Frameworks

In addition, the PBE approach often uses these participatory frameworks:

The goals of PAR and CBPR are to ensure that community members participate in the development, evaluation, and improvement of the programs and interventions that affect them. These strategies facilitate community ownership and engagement, which can lead to improved insights into how to tailor practices for specific populations.

Case studies in the Emerging Evidence section demonstrate how PBE approaches and research–community partnerships can be used to assess culture-centered practices. This is especially important in communities where the role of culture in healing and recovery is foundational. 

Read about Emerging Evidence Stories.

Last Updated: 06/15/2017