This Web resource was partially funded by a contract to IASWR from NIMH. It seeks to promote the integration of evidence-based mental health treatments into social work education and research. The Evidence-Based Practice Resources section provides tools that can be used to identify EBPs, online resources that can inform the EBP process and a list of publications for further information. The Partnership Examples section highlights some existing partnerships created between researchers and practitioners that further EBP.
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
Before we look at the types of models out there, it is important to first understand what constitutes evidence-based practice. According to the Social Work Policy Institute:
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services. (source)
Because our ease of access to information has improved drastically in the past few decades, acquiring evidence is a much simpler process and has certainly prompted the move towards evidence-based approaches.
However, evidence-based practice implies more than simply acquiring data. According to the Council on Social Work Education, there are five important steps involved in any evidence-based practice model.
1. Formulating a client, community, or policy-related question;
2. Systematically searching the literature;
3. Appraising findings for quality and applicability;
4. Applying these findings and considerations in practice;
5. Evaluating the results. (source)
This last step is particularly significant because evidence-based practice models need to continuously improve if they are to be effective. As a result, each new case should be considered additional evidence and should be analyzed along with the pre-existing data. This kind of perspective helps our social service practices continue to keep pace with a changing world.
Full list of programs from the Coalition for Evidenced-Based Policy
IExamples of interventions