Evidence-Based Practices Overview
What are evidence-based practices?
Evidence-Based Practice is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of [clients]". (Sackett, Richardson, Rosenberg & Haynes, 1997, 2)
Evidence-based practice refers not just to research based treatment interventions, but to organizational change. It has become necessary in social work to integrate research to practice and practice to research.
"Social work has become an integrated component, synthesizing, and analyzing evidence currently available in the literature and working to establish clinical care pathways and practice guidelines within many care delivery systems" (Roberts & Yeager, 2004, 10).
How do EBPs apply to clinical practice?
Practitioners, consumers, and third party payers want to know if a prescribed treatment works. Research seeks to examine and identify which treatment interventions are effective.
What does it mean for a treatment to be effective?
Treatment outcomes can be measured in many ways; they can include single or multiple indices such as a reduction of symptoms, number of times hospitalized over a period of time, improvement in social and vocational functioning, increases in self-reported happiness, etc.
What is the difference between efficacy and effectiveness?
EBP interventions are typically associated with multiple randomized controlled research efficacy trials which are summarized in journal reviews. On the other hand, clinical effectiveness addresses the outcome of interventions in a practice setting where inclusion into treatment is not highly specified (i.e. clients are not excluded from a treatment because of many inclusion/exclusion restrictions).