The terms "evidence-based" and "evidence-informed" are defined differently in different contexts.
Evidence-based practices are approaches to prevention or treatment that are validated by some form of documented scientific evidence. This includes findings established through controlled clinical studies, but other methods of establishing evidence are valid as well.
Evidence-based programs use a defined curriculum or set of services that, when implemented with fidelity as a whole, has been validated by some form of scientific evidence. Evidence-based practices and programs may be described as "supported" or "well-supported", depending on the strength of the research design.
Evidence-informed practices use the best available research and practice knowledge to guide program design and implementation. This informed practice allows for innovation while incorporating the lessons learned from the existing research literature. Ideally, evidence-based and evidence-informed programs and practices should be responsive to families' cultural backgrounds, community values, and individual preferences.
From: Children's Bureau (HHS), Child Welfare Information Gateway, FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, & Center for the Study of Social Policy-Strengthening Families. (2011). Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide. Retrieved February 11, 2011, from www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/guide2011/guide.pdf#page=17.
Glossary of Terminology Frequently Used in Research
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Provides definitions for selected research terms to help professionals evaluate evidence-based practices.
Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions (PDF - 416 KB)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Presents information to help State and community planners apply the Strategic Prevention Framework to identify and select evidence-based interventions that address local needs and reduce substance abuse problems.