Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

The Need for Experimental Evaluations of Community Interventions

June 27, 2023
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.

Oregon Research Institute

View the Webinar

About the Webinar

New webinar title: A Research and Public Health Agenda to Improve Population Health and Reduce Disparities

This talk documents the extent of health disparities in the United States. It then argues that progress in reducing these disparities can best be made through research on comprehensive community interventions. Dr. Anthony Biglan presents examples of successes and failures in community research and argues 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 provides 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, and that doing so will require greater use of interrupted time series designs.

Last updated on