What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?
Evidence-Based Practice is an interdisciplinary approach to clinical practice, which is becoming more and more common since its formal introduction in 1992. It started in the medical field, as evidence-based medicine, before spreading to other fields such as psychology. The basic standards are that all practical decisions made, should be based on research studies and that these research studies are selected and interpreted according to some specific norms, characteristic of EBP. Typically such norms consider quantitative studies according to a narrow set of criteria of what counts as evidence.
Should practitioners use evidence-based practices in therapy?
This is a grey area for many therapists. Of course, therapists want to provide the best care possible, by integrating the best available evidence with their own experience, along with the characteristics and needs of their patients. And the whole idea behind evidence-based practices sounds simple enough: you apply the appropriate intervention to the problem your client is having, and the client gets better. This seems like a perfect solution, but as many providers of Evidence-Based Programs and Practice will tell you, it is not as simple as reading from an instruction manual.
Some therapists argue that by simply following the instructions, they are taking the whole meaning of actually being a therapist out of therapy â€“ the human connection, the understanding, and the trust. While there are other therapists who insist that using anything that is not evidence-based is negligent. Evidence-based practices give therapists a framework to follow, what should be taking place in therapy with their clients, and how well the clients are progressing. Using evidence-based practices can help protect the client from a therapist who is using a practice that is unproven and can even be harmful to the patient.
If you, like many others, fall into the gray area when it comes to EBP, consider MyOutcomes. MyOutcomes has developed a simple, web-based outcome-tracking tool that uses two well-established, highly valid, four-item scales, the Outcome Rating Scale and the Session Rating Scale, designed for frontline clinicians to use in every session. Not only are the scales user-friendly, analysis of client improvement and identification of at-risk cases is clear, simple and secure. And better yet, MyOutcomes is a SAMHSA approved EBP, included in it's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
Evidence-based practice is the conscientious, definitive, and thorough use of the best evidence we currently have, in making decisions about the care of each individual patient. MyOutcomes brings the client's voice into each session, and also provides normative data and feedback on how they are doing, so not only is it evidence-based, it doesn't remove the meaning of being a therapist from therapy. You get an evidence-based practice with the personal touch only a therapist can provide.