Social Work *: Evidence-based Practice Resources

Randall Information Center | USC School of Social Work

What are EBPs?

Evidence-Based Practice refers to the process where the practitioner combines well researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services (Social Work Policy Institute). 

 

EBP Research Video

Synthesis/Summative: Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews

Systematic reviews usually focus on a specific clinical question and conduct an extensive literature search to identify studies with sound methodology. The studies are reviewed, assessed, and the results summarized according to the predetermined criteria of the review question.

Use these databases to find systematic reviews of evidence for treating a condition, or for intervening in a population.

In addition to the resources below, you can locate meta analyses and systematic reviews in PsycINFO, in the advanced search in the Methodologies box.

You can also search by publication type in PubMed@USC

 

Program Databases

Use the following databases and search engines to find example programs. These are programs that have been developed by clinicians and practitioners, and have enough evidence supporting their efficacy to be considered evidence-based. Use these tools when you need to find examples of programs.

KEEP IN MIND: You might have to find a program that uses a framework or method that has shown to be effective (like CBT or family therapy) but that doesn't target your population or clinical problem exactly. Oftentimes these programs are meant to treat a variety of disorders or clients using a particular method or framework.

Research-Based Journals

Browse or search these research-based journals for your topic:

Hierarchy of Social Work Evidence

Synthesis/Summative: Clinical Guidelines/Best Practices

The databases below provide reports and information about the most effective programs, interventions and therapeutic methods for different variables or populations. Use these databases to find evidence-based interventions.

Citing Clinical Guidelines

The suggested citation format for a Guideline Summary:

  • National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). Guideline summary: [insert title of summary]. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited YYYY Mon DD]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.

    Example: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). Guideline summary: Screening for breast cancer. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited 2010 Jul 21]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.

The suggested citation format for a Guideline Synthesis:

  • National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). Guideline synthesis: [insert title of synthesis]. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited YYYY Mon DD]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.

    Example: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). Guideline synthesis: Screening for breast cancer. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited 2010 May 7]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.

If you are citing the original guideline upon which the summary or synthesis is based, please refer to the Source field included in each guideline summary or the sources listed under the Guidelines Being Compared section found at the top of each guideline synthesis.

The suggested citation format for an Expert Commentary:

  • Author [insert Commentary author]. Commentary title. In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited YYYY Mon DD]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.

    Example: Wachter RM. Is the Measurement Mandate Diverting the Patient Safety Revolution? In: National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) [Web site]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); [cited 2009 Nov 8]. Available: http://www.guideline.gov.