What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

E-cigarette regulations

Regulate use of e-cigarettes, especially among youth, via age restrictions, marketing restrictions, expanded smoke-free policies, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Early childhood home visiting programs

Provide at-risk expectant parents and families with young children with information, support, and training regarding child health, development, and care from prenatal stages through early childhood via trained home visitors

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety, Family and Social Support

Early Head Start (EHS)

Provide child care, parent education, physical health and mental health services, and other family supports to pregnant women and parents with low incomes and children aged 0 to 3

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Expand refundable earned income tax credits for low to moderate income working individuals and families

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Income

Electronic Benefit Transfer payment at farmers markets

Enable farmers markets to accept EBT, the electronic payment system of debit cards used to issue and redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Electronic health information exchange

Share patient data electronically between different health care organizations, allowing providers to see necessary portions of a patient’s medical record outside the patient’s usual clinic

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Provide confidential worksite-based counseling and referrals to employees to address personal and workplace challenges

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Employment, Family and Social Support

Enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting alcohol sales to minors

Initiate or increase retailer compliance checks for laws that prohibit alcohol sales to minors, often as part of a multi-faceted effort

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Enhanced seat belt enforcement programs

Add publicity and other strategies (e.g., supplemental patrols, increased officers, etc.) to efforts to enforce existing seat belt laws

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Exercise and work-oriented back pain management programs

Support worksite exercise and physical conditioning programs for low back pain; also called work conditioning, work hardening, or functional restoration/exercise programs

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Employment

Exercise prescriptions

Provide patients with prescriptions for exercise plans, often accompanied by progress checks at office visits, counseling, activity logs, and exercise testing

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Expedited partner therapy for treatable STIs

Provide prescriptions or medications to patients diagnosed with treatable STIs to give to their partners without provider visits; also called patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT)

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Extracurricular activities for physical activity

Provide chances for kids and adolescents to be active and play sports at various skill levels via structured or unstructured after- and before- school athletic activities

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Extracurricular activities for social engagement

Support organized social, art, or physical activities for school-aged youth outside of the school day

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Family and Social Support

Families and Schools Together

Convene small groups of families for facilitated weekly meetings that include a family meal, structured activities, parent support time, and parent-child play therapy

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Family treatment drug courts

Use specialized courts to work with parents involved in the child welfare system who may lose custody of their children due to substance abuse

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety, Alcohol and Drug Use

Family-based physical activity interventions

Increase family members’ support for physical activity, often via educational sessions on health, goal-setting, problem-solving, or family behavioral management

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Farm to school programs

Incorporate locally grown foods into school meals and snacks, often with visits from food producers, cooking classes, nutrition and waste reduction efforts, and school gardens

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Farmers markets

Support multiple vendor markets where producers sell goods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy items, and prepared foods directly to consumers

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Father involvement programs

Support fathers’ active involvement in child rearing via various father-focused or family-focused interventions

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Family and Social Support