Discussion: Characteristics, Challenges, and Opportunities of Evidence-Based Design

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.

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To prepare for this Discussion, read the Learning Resources that provide information about different aspects of the evidence-based practice concept. As you read, consider how evidence-based practice or evidence- based programs might be used in a social work agency where you work or where you had a practicum experience.

By Day 3

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.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two colleagues by noting the similarities and differences in the factors that would support or impede your colleague’s implementation of evidence-based practice as noted in his or her post to those that would impact your implementation of evidence-based practice as noted in your original post. Offer a solution for addressing one of the factors that would impede your colleague’s implementation of evidence-based practice.

Required Readings

Document: Thyer, B. (2010). Introductory principles of social work research. In B. Thyer (Ed.), The handbook of social work research methods (2nd ed., pp.1–8). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. (PDF)
Copyright 2010 by Sage Publications, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Document: Cooney, S. M., Huser, C. M., Small, S., & O’Connor, C. (2007). Evidence-based programs: An overview. What Works, Wisconsin —Research to Practice Series, (6), 1–8. Retrieved from http://whatworks.uwex.edu/attachment/whatworks_06.pdf (PDF)
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Madison/Extension.

Document: O’Connor, C., Small, S. A., & Cooney, S. M. (2007). Program fidelity and adaptation: Meeting local needs without compromising program effectiveness. What Works, Wisconsin —Research to Practice Series, (4), 1–6. Retrieved from http://whatworks.uwex.edu/attachment/whatworks_04.pdf (PDF)
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Madison/Extension.

Document: Small, S. A., Cooney, S. M., Eastman G. & O’Connor, C. (2007). Guidelines for selecting an evidence-based program: Balancing community needs, program quality, and organizational resources. What Works, Wisconsin —Research to Practice Series, (3), 1–6. Retrieved from whatworks.uwex.edu/attachment/whatworks_03.pdf (PDF)
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Madison/Extension.

University of Wisconsin Extension. (2007). Research to practice report briefs. Retrieved from http://whatworks.uwex.edu/Pages/1researchbriefs.html

Document: Small, S. A., Reynolds, A. J., O’Connor, C., & Cooney, S. M. (2005). What works, Wisconsin: What science tells us about cost-effective programs for juvenile delinquency prevention. Retrieved from http://whatworks.uwex.edu/attachment/whatworkswisconsin.pdf (PDF)
Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Madison/Extension.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Evidence-based practices resource center. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/ebp-resource-center

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. (2018). Program registry. Retrieved from http://www.cebc4cw.org/home/

Social Work Policy Institution (2018). Evidence-based practice. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/research/evidence-based-practice-2.html#resources

Whittaker, J. (2009). Evidence-based intervention and services for high-risk youth: A North American perspective on the challenges of integration for policy, practice, and research. Child & Family Social Work, 14(2), 166–177.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013d). MSW homepage [Interactive media]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013a). Bradley family episode 4 [Video file]. In Sessions. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.
Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

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