Health Promotion Research Center

The Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) is recognized by federal and state agencies as an evidence-based program. The agencies and organizations that have recognized PEARLS as an evidence-based program include, but are not limited to, the following:

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

ACL is an organization created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to meet the needs of people with disabilities and older adults to be able to live at home with the support they need. After an independent review of the evidence supporting PEARLS, ACL added the program to its list of Aging and Disability Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (ADEPP).


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AHRQ is the nation’s lead Federal agency for research on healthcare quality, costs, outcomes, and patient safety. The AHRQ works with partners to distribute research-based information to patients, healthcare providers, and public policymakers. AHRQ’s Innovations Exchange shares evidence-based programs and tools for a range of settings and populations. AHRQ added PEARLS to their innovation profiles in 2009.


Archstone Foundation

The Archstone Foundation is a grant-making organization focused on improving the well-being of older adults with a special focus on California. In 2011, PEARLS received the Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation. This award was created in collaboration with the American Public Health Association’s Aging and Public Health section to recognize best practice models in Gerontology and Geriatrics that effectively link academic theory with applied practice.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC has included PEARLS in its publication “Addressing Depression in Older Adults: Selected Evidence-Based Programs,” which is intended to draw attention to evidence based programs for treating depression. The CDC seeks to increase awareness that depression is a public health issue and can be effectively addressed through community-based programs.

The CDC also recognizes PEARLS as an arthritis-appropriate evidence-based intervention (AAEBI) thanks to an evaluation by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA).


engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults

Administered by USAging and funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, engAGED is a national resource center focused on improving social engagement for older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. It identifies and disseminates information about the best and most promising social engagement programs through a searchable online database to facilitate the use of these programs by community organizations. PEARLS was added to the engAGED Social Engagement Innovations Hub in 2023.


Evidence-Based Leadership Collaborative (EBLC)

EBLC represents nationally recognized evidence-based programs and leaders from community-based organizations that provide multiple evidence-based programs. The EBLC has more than 200 combined years in developing, evaluating, scaling, implementing and sustaining evidence-based self-management programs. PEARLS team members were some of the founding members of EBLC in 2011. Working together with local, state, and national partners, EBLC members work to reach diverse populations with programs that improve the health and well-being of communities.


Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide)

The Community Guide is a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force. It is a resource to help organizations select interventions to improve health and prevent disease in their state, community, community organization, business, healthcare organization, or school. In 2008, the task force recommended home-based depression care management programs like PEARLS for older adults with depression based on strong evidence of effectiveness.


National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)

This national registry was sponsored by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The registry assisted the public in identifying approaches to preventing and treating mental and/or substance use disorders that were scientifically tested and ready to disseminate. SAMHSA added PEARLS to the NREPP in May 2007, following an extensive independent review of the evidence.

Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA)

OAAA completed a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded review of select evidence-based interventions in 2021 to identify community-based programs that met established criteria to be classified as an arthritis-appropriate evidence-based intervention (AAEBI). PEARLS was recognized within the self-management education programs category.