The Evidence Based Practice Institute (EBPI) serves as a resource for state entities in identification, evaluation, and partnering with various communities (e.g. families, providers) on evidence based practices and offers provider training and consultation on the implementation of EBPs in communities, as well as the promotion of evidence based or promising practices.
Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is the use of systematic decision-making processes or provision of services which have been shown, through available scientific evidence, to consistently improve measurable client outcomes. Instead of tradition, gut reaction or single observations as the basis for making decisions, EBP relies on data collected through experimental research and accounts for individual client characteristics and clinician expertise.
Within the field of mental health, Evidence Based Practice is often discussed in terms of treatments or interventions which are effective. Evidence Based Treatments (EBTs) are interventions which have scientific findings to demonstrate their effectiveness or efficacy in improving client outcomes. Treatments are often placed along a continuum of support based on the rigorousness and amount of supporting research ranging from treatments which have strong support to those which are untested to those which have produced negative outcomes. Data sources used to make these evidence determinations include randomized experiments, which compare treatment with a control or placebo group or compare the treatment with another already established treatment; and single case design experiments which compare an individual subject’s baseline with their response to treatment.
There are four generally accepted evidence levels along the continuum of research support on which experts attempt to categorize practices, based on the body of evidence and outcomes indicated supporting each treatment method. Briefly, they are:
Specifically, evidence determinations are based on the following criteria:
Level 1: “Best Support” - Interventions receiving “best” support must have supporting research evidence obtained in one of the following ways:
Level 2: “Good Support or Moderate Support” - Interventions receiving “good or moderate” support must have supporting research evidence obtained in one of the following ways:
Level 3: “Promising Practice” - “Promising practices” meet the following criteria:
Level 4: “Practices with Known Risks” - “Practices with known risks” meet the following criteria: