Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How do you define Evidence-Based Practice?

[Update] Next week I'm posting an episode on Evidence-Based Practice. The interview is really nice and I think you'll really like it. With all episodes I do an intro where I introduce my guest, talk about why this topic is relevant to social workers, and then talk about what is covered in the interview. And so that's all well-and-good. Except that I've struggled with this intro because everyone seems to have a different understanding of what is Evidence-Based Practice.

So, this is where you come in. Twice.

First thing - at the top of this page you'll see that I've posted a poll. Take a minute – literally one minute – and select the definition of EBP you most agree with. I'm going to use the final tally in the introduction.

The second thing is I want to hear from you. I want to know how you use evidence-based practice in your social work practice. There's a very easy way to do this: call and leave a message on the Social Work Podcast answering machine – 215.948.2456. You can either dial the number directly, or go to make the call for free, on the upper right-hand side of the Social Work Podcast website click on the “CALL ME” button and Google will connect you to the answering machine for free. When you call, tell me your first name, where you're from, and what you think. If you can help me out with those two things – the poll and the voicemail, I'll be set for next week.

Thanks so much for listening to the Social Work Podcast, check back next week for the episode on Evidence-Based Practice, and keep on making a difference wherever you are.

  Download MP3 [01:55]

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Singer, J. B. (Host). (2011, March 2). How do you define Evidence-Based Practice? [Update]. Social Work Podcast. Podcast retrieved Month Day, Year, from


Mick J Rogers LCSW said...

I find that theories that claim they are EBP are usually touting/marketing their claim that they provide cheap therapy. The EBP research disallows multiple diagnosis, health problems or diversity; the control groups are people on waiting lists or listening to gentle music; and the claims that they are better than non-EBP practice (e.g. older theories that no one has spent the money to do 'New Coke' type marketing research on) are over-the-top.

I respect Common Factors Theory EBP Research on psychotherapy. They do not appear to be marketing their 'new and improved' therapy and are not idealogical zealots.

I have worked in a psych hospital where EBP was touted, but was really a way to provide innocuous, bland TX that did not upset the patients, the doctors or the nurses (like family therapy can.) It is much 'safer' to teach someone how to breathe and meditate and tell JCAHO you are providing 'behavioral health' services.

Practice Based Evidence should be a larger focus at schools of Social Work, and teaching a healthy skepticism (buyer beware) of EBP should be the norm. Regrettably, most social work professors are not psychotherapists and repeat the mantra of the insurance companies and government providers.

Take Care,
Mick Rogers, LCSW, BCD
Clinical Social Worker & Training Director
........_ /-_
"One person with a vision can change a town;
two people who share a vision can change the world."
Cicely of Northern Exposure

George Julian said...

Hi, I prefer evidence-informed to evidence-based for most social work situations - I'm not sure that there is always strong enough evidence to claim we are evidence based? Check out our definition of evidence-informed here