Bringing Data to Prevention Planning: State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroups


State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroups (SEOWs) are groups of data experts and prevention stakeholders responsible for bringing data on substance misuse and related behavioral problems to the forefront of the prevention planning process. To achieve their mission, SEOWs are charged with the following four core tasks:

  • Identifying, analyzing, profiling, and sharing data from existing state and local sources
  • Creating data-guided products that inform prevention planning and policies
  • Training communities in understanding, using, and presenting data in an effective manner
  • Building state- and local-level monitoring and surveillance systems

Applying SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), SEOWs use a data-driven, outcomes-based approach to identify priority problems and recommend strategies that address these priorities. Starting with a solid understanding of those substance misuse and behavioral outcomes that warrant further attention, they then use data to identify risk and protective factors related to these outcomes, and align strategies to impact these factors (Figure 1).

Chart showing relationships between substance-related consequences, risk and protective factors, and prevention strategies.

Download the Substance Misuse and outcomes model (JPG | 31 KB).

SEOWs are responsible for completing specific tasks and developing specific products to support implementation of each of the SPF’s five steps. Table 1 lists SEOW tasks and products for each SPF step:

Table 1: SPF Steps and SEOW tasks

SPF Step SEOW Task SEOW Products
1. Assess Needs Identify key data sources as well as collect and analyze data to identify needs State epidemiological profile

Community epidemiological profile

2. Build Capacity Bring data gatekeepers together to share data and train communities to understand and use data SEOW charter

Community data trainings

3. Plan Identify priorities and inform policy makers Factsheets for decision makers

Dissemination plan

4. Implement Allocate resources based on priorities and ensure understanding and application of SPF’s data-guided process in communities State prevention plan

Community SPF/data trainings

5. Evaluation Build community-level monitoring system by monitoring trends, creating networks, and enhancing capacity Data/Monitoring system

National Data Sources Used by SEOWs

Table 2 lists key national data sources that provide state-level data. SEOWs frequently use these sources to inform their epidemiological profiles, products, and planning processes:

Table 2: National Datasets Used by SEOWs

National Datasets Host Agency How to Access Indicators Used in Profiles and Products Demographic Information
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) SAMHSA NSDUH Substance use, mental health and risk factors (ages 12 and above) Age
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) YRBSS Substance use and risk factors (youth 9-12th grades) Grade, Gender, Race
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) CDC BRFSS Substance use (ages 18 and above) Age, Gender, Race
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMStat) CDC PRAMStat Substance use (during pregnancy) Age
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS Fatal traffic crashes and deaths involving alcohol Age, Gender, County
Multiple Causes of Death CDC Multiple Causes of Death Data from CDC WONDER Substance-related causes of death Age, Gender, Race, County
Uniform Crime Reports Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program Resource Guide at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research; Uniform Crime Reports at FBI Police-reported crimes County

Sample Epidemiological Profiles and Data Systems

All SEOWs are responsible for developing epidemiological profiles that describe the prevalence (how many individuals are affected) and impact of substance misuse and related behavioral health problems in their states, tribes, and jurisdictions. These profiles vary in detail and scope depending on the availability of data, context, and prevention priorities and needs. Access existing epidemiological profiles for states and jurisdictions.

Some SEOWs have also built interactive data systems to support community-level monitoring and surveillance. Some examples include:

Learn more about the work of SEOWs.

Last Updated: 09/24/2015