Exploring the Evidence-Based Practice Process with Social Work Practitioners

Kristel Scoresby, Melody Huslage, Dorothy Wallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigates social work practitioners’ feasibility, attitudes, and familiarity with the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) process in their work and their ability to access and integrate research into their practice. Materials and Methods: Social work practitioners (N = 256) were recruited through Reddit and Facebook and completed an online survey. Participants completed demographic questions (e.g. time in practice, degree type, practice role), research-seeking behaviors, and completed three subscales of the Rubin & Parish Evidence-Based Practice Process Assessment Scale. Results: The three EBP process subscales assessed participants’ familiarity, attitudes, and perceived feasibility of the EBP process. The familiarity subscale could range from zero to 40, and the mean in this sample was 26.75 (SD = 5.55). The attitudes subscale could range from 0 to 56, and the mean in this sample was 37.03 (SD = 5.49). Finally, the feasibility subscale could range from zero to 20, and the mean in this sample was 12.18 (SD = 2.81). A linear regression was run to predict familiarity, feasibility, and attitudes toward the EBP process. Those who reported seeking out research more often found the process more familiar and feasible. Those who were in practice longer found the EBP process less familiar and had more negative attitudes. Discussion: Strategies to address research familiarity, feasibility, and attitudes toward the EBP process include continuing experiential learning in education, accessing research in social media, and the use of continuing education. Conclusion: Continuing to address the research-practice gaps is an essential step toward delivering EBP to clients.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Evidence based practice process
  • familiarity with research
  • research implications
  • research-practice gap
  • social work practitioners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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