Epidemiology Program Office -- The Guide To Community Preventive Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z

Epidemiology Program Office

Home | MMWR | EPI Info | CDC Wonder | Search EPO |Contact Us

  Directory Update
Publications and Software
Public Health Surveillance
International Bulletins
Office of the Director
Associate Director for Science
Division of Applied Public Health Training
Division of International Health
Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics
Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods

The file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing information on this page may e-mail for assistance. Please select The Community Guide to access current information.

The Guide To Community Preventive Services Website

What more than 700 studies reveal about what works in public health to improve the health of communities and populations and how to use this information. 

Website Purpose, Description and Intended Audiences 

Site Description

Get Planning, Training and Policy Making Tools from www.thecommunityguide.org 

The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) is led by the independent Task Force on Community Preventive Services and is supported by CDC within the Epidemiology Program Office’s Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods.  Supporting Healthy People 2010 objective 23-17, we conduct systematic reviews of population-based interventions to change risk behaviors, address environmental challenges, and reduce the burden of disease, injury, and impairment. Interventions found to be effective are recommended for use.

This website provides convenient access to a range of information sources:

At a glance - A two-page overview of the Community Guide with a list of findings published to date.

Site Purpose

Everything You Need to Know About What Works and More

Resources for public health are limited.  One way to get the most from the resources you have is to use those interventions that have been proven effective and focus research on those areas where documented gaps in the evidence exist.    

The Community Guide has done much of the hard work already, combining scientific discovery, subject matter expertise, and practical experience in public health.   Its independent Task Force completes systematic reviews of the available literature and provides recommendations on use or non-use of interventions based on the strength of the evidence.  

Public health decision-making without checking the Community Guide is like using a slot machine.   You have no idea if you will be successful until you’ve already invested your money. Why gamble with your valuable resources? The Community Guide can help you make sound investments and simplify your efforts to keep up with scientific advances in public health practice.


Recommendations and findings – For each topic, users can access published articles containing Community Guide recommendations and other findings, methods, and summaries of each reviewed intervention, including economic efficiency (where available) and generalizability.  

Topics Include

Mental Health
Motor Vehicle Occupant Injury
Oral Health

Physical Activity
Sexual Behavior

Sociocultural environment
Substance Abuse
Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Violence Prevention

Education and training - Tutorial slide sets with speaker notes that explain how to use the findings in public health and community settings. The slide sets also include an overview of the methods used to conduct reviews.

And more… - A list of Task Force Members, descriptions of our methods, examples of how the findings have been used by others.

Intended Audiences

Who Wants, Needs, or Should be Using the Community Guide?

The findings can and should be used by anyone involved in the planning, funding, and implementation of population-based services and policies to improve community health.

Public health professionals can use these findings to

-    Aid in program planning
-    Encourage the use of effective interventions through
     grant guidance and planning criteria
-    Focus existing research or seek out resources for
     additional studies

Providers of health-care services can use these findings to

-    Implement effective system level interventions that improve delivery of effective clinical services (e.g., reminder / recall systems for tobacco control and standing orders for adult vaccinations)    

Purchasers of health-care services (e.g., Employers)

-    Can use Community Guide findings on effective health care system-level interventions in constructing and selecting benefit plans  

Law and Policy makers can use the evidence to improve population health through

-   Broad-based policies (e.g., smoking bans and
-   Targeted laws (e.g., child safety seats)
-   Educational requirements (e.g., vaccination requirements
     for school admission or school-based physical
-   Communitywide interventions (e.g., water fluoridation)  

Community-based organizations can use these findings to

-   Encourage selection of proven strategies for local

Researchers can  

- Use “insufficient evidence” findings in planning and conducting research and in proposals to garner additional resources for research on these topics   

Find out more about the Community Guide at www.thecommunityguide.org or become involved by e-mailing us at communityguide@cdc.gov

Home | MMWR | EPI Info | CDC Wonder | Training Programs | Search EPO  
| Contact Us |
CDC Home | Search | Health Topics A-Z

Historical Document: last reviewed October 21, 2002

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Epidemiology Program Office

Privacy Policy Notice | Accessibility

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.