Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

The Need for Experimental Evaluations of Community Interventions

June 27, 2023, 2:00 p.m. ET
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.

Oregon Research Institute

*A recording of this webinar will be available approximately two weeks after the session.

About the Webinar

This talk will document the extent of health disparities in the United States. It will then argue that progress in reducing these disparities can best be made through research on comprehensive community interventions. Dr. Anthony Biglan will present examples of successes and failures in community research and argue that randomized trials evaluating such interventions are premature. Rather, there is a need for studies that introduce interventions in a series of communities, where each replication of the intervention is refined on the basis of work in preceding communities. Dr. Biglan will provide several examples of the kind of research he is advocating.

About Anthony Biglan

Dr. Anthony Biglan is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute and President of Values to Action. He has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 40 years. His book, “The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World,” summarizes the accumulated knowledge about what humans need to thrive. His more recent book, “Rebooting Capitalism: How We Can Forge a Society That Works for Everyone,” describes the recent evolution of a rapacious form of capitalism and presents a framework for evolving more nurturing communities.

Dr. Biglan created Values to Action, which is a nonprofit organization that helps communities come together around a shared vision and create Action Circles to implement evidence-based solutions to their most pressing problems. A recent paper, Prevention Science and Health Equity: A Comprehensive Framework for Preventing Health Inequities and Disparities Associated with Race, Ethnicity, and Social Class, summarizes the extent to which public policy has contributed to harmful social and material conditions for families. These conditions account for a large amount of the variance in disparities in premature death. The paper argues that our progress in reducing disparities will be limited if we do not develop comprehensive community interventions that address all of the risk factors for health disparities. However, doing so will require greater use of interrupted time series designs.


This webinar will be captioned in real time. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should email MindtheGap@od.nih.gov. Requests should be made at least 5 business days before the event.

Last updated on May 24, 2023