Introduction and Overview

  • James W. Drisko
  • Melissa D. Grady
Part of the Essential Clinical Social Work Series book series (ECSWS)


This chapter addresses the origins and history of the evidence-based practice [EBP] movement. EBP is based on the pioneering work of Dr. Archibald Cochrane. The contemporary, four-part, definition of EBP is a practice decision-making process involving (1) the client’s situation, (2) the best research evidence, (3) the client’s values and preferences, (4) the expertise of the clinician is introduced. EBP is then distinguished from empirically supported treatments and best practices. Previous evidence in support of the effectiveness of clinical social work practice and psychosocial services in general is provided. Several views regarding the use of research in practice are examined. Some contemporary concerns about the EBP movement are detailed.


Evidence-based practice Clinical decision-making Using research in practice Archie Cochrane Clinical social work effectiveness Psychotherapy effectiveness Psychotherapy outcome research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Drisko
    • 1
  • Melissa D. Grady
    • 2
  1. 1.School for Social WorkSmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.School of Social ServiceCatholic University of AmericaWashington, DCUSA

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