TRACE research syntheses are conducted using a characteristics and consequences framework that identifies, isolates, and "unpacks" the features and elements of practices that are associated with different outcomes or benefits. Accordingly, evidence-based practices are defined as practices informed by research where the characteristics and consequences of one or more practice variables are functionally and empirically established, and where the relationship informs a practitioner about what can be done to produce a desired effect (e.g., increase referrals to an early intervention program).
TRACE syntheses involve the integration of small bodies of evidence that have investigated or
described the same or similar practices. Two types of outcomes constitute the focus of
analysis in TRACE research syntheses: (1) outcomes of a practice that has a specific purpose or function
(e.g., newborn hearing screening to identify infants with hearing problems) and (2) outcomes of the extent to which the
practices result in referrals to Part C Early Intervention or Part B(619) Preschool Special Education Programs.