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The information below is excerpted from the IDM Manual for Best Practices for Better Health by Barbara Kahan and Michael Goodstadt, May 2005 (3rd edition).
Many different definitions of best practices exist, depending on who is doing the defining. The IDM definition of best practices in health promotion or public health follows.
Best practices in health promotion/public health are those sets of processes and activities that are consistent with health promotion/public health values, goals and ethics, theories and beliefs, evidence, and understanding of the environment, and that are most likely to achieve health promotion/public health goals in a given situation.
The underlying premise of the Model is that the quality and value of practice depend on the degrees of awareness, discussion, clarity, and reflection associated with each of its domains and subdomains (that is, values, goals and ethics, theories and beliefs, evidence, understanding of the environment, and practice itself).
At its heart the IDM is very simple. When asked in workshops what influences decision making, people identify a wide sweep of factors which inevitably fall into the broad categories of values, theories, evidence, and the environment (ranging from the physical to the political). These categories, including practice itself, correspond to the IDM domains and subdomains:
As can be seen in the diagram of the IDM, the domains and subdomains exist in the context of the broader environment. The domains and subdomains are interactive, that is, each influences and is influenced by the others.
The application of the IDM to practice involves constant questioning and reflection:
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