EBP in Social Work: Overview
What is EBP? EBP = Evidence-Based Practice, defined as “...conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual [clients]" (Sackett et al., 1996, p.71).
The UNI Social Work Department defines evidence-based social work practice as "an approach to social work practice that includes the process of combining research knowledge, professional/clinical expertise, and client and community values, preferences, and circumstances. It is a dynamic and fluid process whereby practitioners continually seek, interpret, use, and evaluate the best available information in an effott to make the best practice decision in social work."
The profession cares: The Council on Social Work Education "recognizes that teaching social work students how to access, analyze, interpret, and appropriately employ evidence is critical to effective social work practice".
Your professors care: You are expected to use and cite high-quality evidence to support your conclusions in research papers/projects. Usually this means information that comes from peer-reviewed scholarly articles.
Your clients care: Should we use an intervention or implement a program that doesn't work? Of course not! Don't reinvent the wheel, but start with what is effective based on the best available evidence.
You should care: If you want to be the best social work professional possible and truly make a difference, you'll use high-quality evidence to support what you do.
Source: 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, cited by Council on Social Work Education.
1. Formulate a client, community, or policy-related question
2. Systematically search the literature (published evidence)
3. Appraise findings for quality and applicability
4. Apply these findings and considerations in practice
5. Evaluate the results.
Spring 2017 Office Hours: most Mondays 1:30-3:30 outside McCollum 201; Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8am-10am in Rod Library 270
Sample Research Topics
Abuse (ie. child abuse, elder abuse, sexual abuse)
Persons with disabilities (ie. physical, mental, developmental)
Education settings (ie. early childhood, K-12, higher education/post-secondary, special education)
Criminal justice system (prevention, probation/parole, incarceration, recidivism)
Mental health/mental illness