In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section The Guide to Community Preventive Services

  • Introduction
  • Primary Sources
  • Relationship to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services
  • Methods
  • Antecedents
  • Additional Evidence Sources
  • Current Issues in Evidence-Based Methods
  • Resources for Research Translation

Public Health The Guide to Community Preventive Services
Peter A. Briss
  • LAST REVIEWED: 29 August 2012
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 August 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0024


The Guide to Community Preventive Services (or “Community Guide”) is a family of products (book, journal articles, Internet products) that synthesize current best evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of, the applicability of, and barriers to the use of community interventions, programs, and policies intended to improve health. The Community Guide also explicitly links evidence to practice recommendations. The Community Guide evaluates interventions delivered to groups of people in health-care systems; community settings such as schools and worksites; and interventions such as laws, policies, and environmental changes that address whole geographic communities. The Community Guide is sponsored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations are developed by the independent, nonfederal Community Preventive Services Task Force (previously called the Task Force on Community Preventive Services). This bibliography includes selected print and electronic resources that are part of the core Community Guide family of products, as well as resources that provide additional history, background, and commentary on those products and resources that situate the Community Guide in the context of other related efforts in systematic reviews, evidence-based practice, programs that work, and research translation.

Primary Sources

The Community Guide has produced publications summarizing scientific evidence about community interventions and making recommendations for their use across a broad range of public health topics. All Community Guide reviews also identify areas in which current evidence is insufficient to support firm conclusions and identify research gaps. Some of that work is summarized in this bibliography (see Reviews of Evidence). The most comprehensive and up-to-date source of Community Guide products is the online homepage for the guide, The Guide to Community Preventive Services. The book version of the Community Guide (Zaza, et al. 2005) includes all reviews completed between 1996 and 2004 in a single volume. The Task Force’s First Annual Report to Congress (Community Preventive Services Task Force 2011) provides a useful summary of all the recommendations as well as immediate plans for new work and selected success stories.

  • Community Preventive Services Task Force. 2011. First annual report to Congress, and to agencies related to the work of the Task Force. Atlanta: Community Preventive Services Task Force.

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 amends the Public Health Service Act to authorize an independent Community Preventive Services Task Force convened by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also requires the Task Force to produce yearly reports to Congress, which are useful for identifying successes with implementing Guide-recommended interventions and identifying current priorities for the Task Force and the Guide.

  • The Guide to Community Preventive Services: The Community Guide.

    From this site users can access many of the resources discussed in this online bibliography, as well as a broad range of other materials, such as commentaries on the core products, fact sheets, slide sets, and promotional materials.

  • Zaza, Stephanie, Peter A. Briss, and Kate W. Harris, eds. 2005. The guide to community preventive services: What works to promote health? New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

    The preface, foreword, and introduction and the “Methods,” and “Research Needs” chapters are useful sources on the need for this sort of resource for evidence-based public health, the history and development of the family of products, methods, use of the results locally, and remaining gaps in the evidence base.

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