SW 564 Social Work in Schools: Evidence Based Practice Literature
Evidence Based Practice Databases
The following resources point you to established evidence based practices. However, note that your particular topic or interest might not be represented in this type of literature. If you are having trouble finding documents via these EBP databases, then consider searching for research articles on your topic. You can use databases such as PsycINFO, Social Services Abstracts, and ERIC to find quantitative studies such as Randomized Controlled Trials, or qualitative studies.
- Institute of Education Sciences: What Works Clearinghouse:The goal of the WWC is to be a resource for informed education decision making. To reach this goal, the WWC identifies studies that provide credible and reliable evidence of the effectiveness of a given practice, program, or policy (referred to as “interventions”), and disseminates summary information and free reports on the WWC website.
- Social Programs that WorkCollection of social program interventions evaluated for effectiveness, sponsored by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy
- California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child WelfareMaintains a clearinghouse for evidence-based child welfare programs and practices.
- SAMHSA Evidence-based Practices Resource CenterMaintains a registry of mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers.
- Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence: BlueprintsThe 11 model programs, called Blueprints, have been effective in reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Another 18 programs have been identified as promising programs. To date, more than 600 programs have been reviewed.
- National Guideline ClearinghouseA public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Levels of Evidence
Different types of research demonstrate stronger or weaker levels of evidence, in order:
- practice guidelines and manuals,
- systematic reviews and meta-analyses
- randomized control trials and other quantitative studies
- qualitative studies and clinical experience
The pyramid organizes these types of research in order of strength, but also makes note of the difference in the amount of research available. For example, while systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide strong sources of evidence to answer a clinical question, there are quite a bit fewer of these resources than the more common quantitative research article.
Robin A. Paynter, (2009) "Evidence-based research in the applied social sciences", Reference Services Review, 37 (4), pp.435 - 450.
Search the EBP database most appropriate for your topic for systematic reviews or meta-analyses. If none are found, move to the most appropriate disciplinary database.
Focus on finding original research studies as opposed to literature reviews.
If you are still not finding useful articles, consider that your search may be too narrow. Sometimes you need to find items that are similar enough to your question that you can extrapolate the findings.
- Databases such as PsycINFO have limits that can be applied for systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, and qualitative research.
- Adding the term "systematic review" or "meta-analysis" to your search is another strategy for limiting your search.
- Look for research that had a study population similar to your client.
- Look for key indicators of empirical research in the title and abstract, such as references to an experimental group and control ground comparison, or a stated research methodology.
Search for Research Articles
When searching for evidence from quantitative or qualitative research articles, adding keywords like "evidence-based" or "systematic review" will help focus your search.
- Social Services AbstractsIncludes citations of journal articles, dissertations, and conference proceedings focused on social work, human services, social welfare, social policy, and community development.
- PsycINFOMaintains citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, and dissertations in psychology about human behavior from 1879 to the present. Nearly 2500 journals are indexed in PsycINFO, and the database is updated weekly.