Journal Articles

Publication Date



BMC Public Health


BACKGROUND: Despite the development of numerous evidence-based interventions (EBIs), many go unused in practice. Hesitations to use existing EBIs may be due to a lack of understanding about EBI components and what it would take to adapt it or implement it as designed. to improve the use of EBIs, program planners need to understand their goals, core components, and mechanisms of action. This paper presents EBI Mapping, a systematic approach based on Intervention Mapping, that can be used to understand and clearly describe EBIs, and help planners put them into practice.

METHODS: We describe EBI Mapping tasks and provide an example of the process. EBI Mapping uses principles from Intervention Mapping, a systematic framework for planning multilevel health promotion interventions. EBI Mapping applies the Intervention Mapping steps retrospectively to help planners understand an existing EBI (rather than plan a new one). We explain each EBI Mapping task and demonstrate the process using the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS), a multi-level community-based intervention to improve youth physical activity.

RESULTS: EBI Mapping tasks are: 1) document EBI materials and activities, and their audiences, 2) identify the EBI goals, content, and mechanisms of action, 3) identify the theoretical change methods and practical applications of those methods, 4) describe design features and delivery channels, and 5) describe the implementers and their tasks, implementation strategies, and needed resources. By applying the EBI Mapping tasks, we created a logic model for the VSS intervention. The VSS logic model specifies the links between behavior change methods, practical applications, and determinants for both the at-risk population and environmental change agents. The logic model also links the respective determinants to the desired outcomes including the health behavior and environmental conditions to improve the health outcome in the at-risk population.

CONCLUSIONS: EBI Mapping helps program planners understand the components and logic of an EBI. This information is important for selecting, adapting, and scaling-up EBIs. Accelerating and improving the use of existing EBIs can reduce the research-to-practice gap and improve population health.


Adolescent, Evidence-Based Medicine, Evidence-Based Practice, Health Promotion, Humans, Logic, Retrospective Studies

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