Exploring the uptake of evidence-based practice in social work
This document reports findings from a research study that used an online survey to explore the reported experiences of social work practitioners with evidence and evidence-based practice. This research best describes a mature, experienced group of licensed American social workers, largely female and Caucasian, the majority of whom work in private practice settings. Data are explored both quantitatively and qualitatively to help determine how the responding social workers make practice-related decisions, where they get evidence for practice, how they assess the utility of evidence and the trustworthiness of sources, and whether workplaces are oriented towards EBP. The data also considers barriers and facilitators to the uptake of EBP, and attitudes about the movement. Two models of practice-based decision making were considered--one being used to help frame the survey, and one being compared post-hoc to the data--and suggestions made for new modeling that might help to shed additional light on how research evidence is used in practice.