March 10, 2011
Episode 65: [Corrected audio file] Today's episode of the Social Work Podcast looks at Evidence Based Practice. I wanted to do an episode on Evidence-Based Practice because it has been the subject of a lot of debate in Social Work. One of the controversies is over how to define evidence based practice. So, how do you define it? March 2, 2011 I created a poll on the Social Work Podcast website and asked people to vote on one of four possible definitions of evidence-based practice. I let people know about the poll through a brief podcast update, a tweet on the SWP twitter feed, and a message on the Facebook fan page. In seven days 183 people voted. One person said EBP was "a waste of time." Seven people (3% of respondents) said that EBP was "when practitioners are mandated to use certain interventions/programs by a funding source (e.g., managed care)." Fifty-eight people - almost 1/3 of respondents - said that EBP was "using empirically supported treatments (e.g. DBT or MST)." 117 people - nearly two thirds of respondents - said that EBP was "a process that uses the best available research, along with client values and practitioner expertise, to answer a variety of practice questions." So, who is right? Well, according to a 2011 article written by today's guest, Danielle Parrish and her co-author Allen Rubin, EBP is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individuals [clients]" (Sackett, Rosenberg, Gray, Haynes, and Richardson, 1996, p. 71) and "the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and [client] values" (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, and Haynes, 2000, p.1). In other words, EBP is a process that uses the best available research, and practitioner expertise and client values, to answer a variety of practice questions. So, why isn't Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or one of the agency-mandated programs considered Evidence-Based Practice? Stay tuned and find out. In today's interview, Danielle and I talk about the difference between the process of evidence-based practice and evidence-based practices, also known as empirically-supported treatments. We talk about why social workers should use the evidence-base practice process. Danielle identified some of the limitations of the EBP process, resources for social workers interested in accessing the evidence-base, and ways that social workers could support each other in being evidence-based practitioners. Today's episode does not cover the history of evidence-based practice. That was covered by Bruce Thyer in a 2009 episode of Living Proof, the podcast series of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Oh, and I'm talking to Danielle because she's one of our profession's experts on this subject. Check out her bio: Danielle E. Parrish, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor with the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. Dr. Parrish's research broadly focuses on the development and implementation of evidence-based behavioral health interventions for adolescents and adult females. Dr. Parrish was the PI on a large cross-sectional survey, which assessed the views and implementation of evidence-based practice among a diverse sample of behavioral health practitioners in Texas and validated a short version of the Evidence-Based Practice Process Assessment Scale (EBPPAS-Short Version), which she co-authored with Allen Rubin. She has also developed and evaluated a training model for community practitioners on the EBP process. She's published articles and book chapters on the process of Evidence-Based Practice and made numerous invited and peer reviewed presentations on this model and the integration of EBP into social work education. Today's interview was recorded in Portland at the 2011 Society for Social Work and Research conference. And now, on to Episode 65 of the Social Work Podcast: The Process of Evidence-Based Practice: An interview with Danielle E. Parrish, Ph.D.