To say that a resource is “evidence-based” is to say that it is informed or supported by evidence. The evidence that supports a particular resource may take different forms.
In the case of the factsheets listed on Positive Choices, “evidence-based” means that the information provided in these factsheets comes from a reliable information source and is backed by research studies. For example, the "Party Drugs"/MDMA/Ecstasy factsheet was developed by a leading research institute (National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre). To develop the factsheet, researchers conducted a review of published research studies reporting on the patterns of use, effects and harms associated with the drug ecstasy. This means we can be confident that the information is fact-based and accurate.
In the case of a school-based prevention programs, “evidence-based” typically means that the benefits of the program have been tested in a research study. For example, the Climate Schools Alcohol and Cannabis module is an evidence-based prevention program, because it has been tested and shown to have benefits in a randomised controlled trial. A randomised controlled trial is a study in which roughly half of the participants are randomly allocated to receive the program being tested (in this case, Climate Schools), and the others are randomly allocated to receive a comparison program (in this case, standard drug education for NSW schools). By randomly allocating participants and comparing different approaches, this type of study design provides strong evidence. In this example we can say that Climate Schools is an evidence-based program because students who received the program drank less and used cannabis less over the follow-up period compared to students who received standard drug education.
The evidence-base for resources is important, as this helps us to judge how reliable and effective the resource is. To help you evaluate the resources listed on the Positive Choices portal, we provide information about who developed the resources (under "Developers"), and the evidence that supports the resource (under "Evidence Base"). We also provide an “Evidence Rating” as a shortcut to help users assess the strength of the evidence supporting each resource.