Imagine if the microbiologist relied on intuition when examining cells for a cancer diagnosis. Consider the consequences if a teacher relied only on perception when assigning grades.
Evidence-based practice provides an alternative to relying on intuition or another individual’s authority when implementing interventions. Evidence-based practice enables social workers to scientifically and systematically evaluate interventions, validating time honored approaches and gaining a greater understanding of why and when they are effective. In other cases, the evidence-based research may indicate a different approach is warranted to successfully implement an intervention.
Consider the following quotation: “Often times, potential users of research knowledge are unconnected to those who do the research, and consequently a huge gap ensues between research knowledge and practice behaviors” (Barwick, M., Boudell, K., Stasiulis, E., Ferguson, H., Blase, K., & Fixsen, D., 2005). Social workers must work to close the gap perceived by the authors of this quote.
In your previous research course, you addressed the concept of evidence-based practice. However, it is important not to fall into a habit of using the term “evidence-based practice” without a clear understanding of its meaning. In particular, it is important to understand what standards of evidence must exist to classify an intervention or a program as evidence based. In this assignment, you are to clarify your understanding of the nature of evidence-based practice and analyze the challenges and opportunities for implementing evidence-based practice in your current social work practice.
To prepare for this Discussion, read the Learning Resources that provide information about different aspects of the evidence-based practice concept.
Post a description of the distinguishing characteristics of evidenced-based practice. Then provide an evaluation of factors that might support or impede your efforts in adopting evidence-based practice or evidence-based programs.