Key Concepts and Definitions
Positive support practices are person-centered and sensitive to a person’s unique cultural background. The purpose of implementing a positive support practice is to improve quality of life and decrease the likelihood a person will experience mental health, social, or health related problems. Positive supports are based on evidence-based research or are referred to as a promising practice when studies are still needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the practice across a wide array of people and situations. Positive supports must be assessed on a regular basis with improvements made over time to ensure a practice is meeting the needs of people served. Different types of positive supports are often used in together in combination to meet the needs of different people.
Evidence-based practice involves using the best available research that is informed by clinical expertise, contextual issues related to each person, and includes the cultural views and values of the person as well as those individuals who know the person well. Evidence-based practices have been proven to be effective via rigorous experimental designs and across a diverse number of subjects.
Promising Practices refer to programs that include measureable results and report successful outcomes, however, there is not yet enough research evidence to prove that this program or process will be effective across a wide range of settings and people.
Evidence-Based Decision Making
Evidence-based decision making refers to the use of data-based for decision making in educational, clinical, and human service settings to assess, evaluate, and improve the effectiveness of positive support practices. Teams using evidence-based decision making to evaluate the effectiveness of positive support on a continual basis evaluate each person’s progress to confirm that the strategies employed increases quality of life and decreases problem behavior. Evidence-based decision making is used at an organization level to monitor outcomes across all of the people benefiting from positive support practices.