Purpose: Evidence-based program registers (EBPRs) are important tools for facilitating the use of evidence-based practices or programs (EBPs) by state statutory agencies responsible for behavioral healthcare, broadly defined as substance misuse, mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, child welfare, and offender rehabilitation. There are currently no data on the purposes for which such state agencies reference EBPRs on their official websites.
Method: A webscraping method was used to identify and classify relevant “hits”, defined as a state behavioral health webpage with single or multiple references to a study EBPR. A total of 778 hits (unique combinations of webpage and register) were coded. Up to three codes were applied to each hit for the “reasons for the EBPR reference” (EBPR use) dimension, one code was applied to each hit for the “purpose of the EBPR reference” and “intended audience of the webpage containing the hit” dimensions, and up to two codes were applied to each hit for the "funding mentions” dimension.
Results: Three EBPRs out of 28 accounted for 73.6% of the hits. The most frequent reason for referencing EBPRs were as a resource for selecting EBPs or validating existing programs and practices. The references tended to appear in reports from the state, in training materials, or guidelines. The references tended to address broad groups of behavioral healthcare professionals. EBPRs were frequently referenced in the context of federal block grants or other federal funding.
Conclusions: Increasing state agencies’ awareness and use of the entire range of existing EBPRs may improve implementation of EBPs nationally.
Authors: Michael J. Maranda, Stephen Magura, Ryan Gugerty, Miranda J. Lee, John A. Landsverk, Jennifer Rolls-Reutz, Brandn Green