Teaching Evidence-Based Practice

Teaching Evidence-Based Practice

Teaching Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

CSWE recognizes that teaching social work students how to access, analyze, interpret, and appropriately employ evidence is critical to effective social work practice. CSWE is collaborating with the Austin Initiative to begin providing more resources for teaching evidence-based practice.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been described as the “...conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual [clients]" (Sackett et al., 1996, p.71). As stipulated by these same authors, this definition requires a process that is comprised of several steps for finding and employing appropriate interventions for every client, and also requires that the client’s preferences and actions, as well as their clinical state and circumstances, must be a part of the decision-making process. Specifically, the steps involve:

   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.

Sackett, D.L, Rosenberg, W.M.C., Muir Gray, J.A., Haynes, R.B., & Richardson, W.S. (1996). Evidence-based medicine: What it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal, 312(7023), 71-72
*Many thanks to Aron Shlonsky (University of Toronto) of the Austin Initiative for assisting with the development of these web resources. If you have any questions or suggestions for this section, please contact Jessica Holmes.*