Practitioner's Guide to Using Research for Evidence-Based Practice, 2nd Edition


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Praise for the previous edition

"An extraordinary and important book. Its approach to evidence-based practice (EBP) is very sound, realistic, and generous to the complexities of everyday practice. Reading and using this book is a must."
—Haluk Soydan, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Southern California

"This book has the potential to change practice in the helping professions. Rather than focusing on how to conduct research, Practitioner's Guide to Using Research for Evidence-Based Practice instead shows readers how to understand the literature.... [The] generous use of humor and the inclusion of simple, practice-relevant examples make this book a pleasure to read."
—Aron Shlonsky, PhD, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

"I particularly like the integration of research methods and EBP; this is the book's major innovation in my mind as it allows readers to see the connections between research and practice. [The book] also succeeds by taking very complex EBP principles and explaining them in practical terms."
—Jeffrey M. Jenson, PhD, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

Hands-on guidance for research-informed practice and practice-informed research

Now in a second edition, Practitioner's Guide to Using Research for Evidence-Based Practice offers a clinician-oriented approach to appraising and using research as part of the EBP process. This accessible guide presents essential and practical guidance on how to integrate research appraisal into EBP endeavors to determine which interventions, policies, and assessment tools are supported by the best evidence.

It introduces:

  • Increased attention to macro-level EBP questions and studies
  • New discussion on defining EBP, including the addition of a transdisciplinary model of EBP
  • More detailed guidance on EBP question formulation and conducting Internet searches, including the PICO framework
  • New content on multivariate designs, including propensity score matching, and on mixed-model and mixed-methods studies

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Authors xxiii

PART I: Overview of Evidence-Based Practice

Chapter 1 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice 3

Emergence of Evidence-Based Practice 5

Defining Evidence-Based Practice 6

Types of EBP Questions 7

Evidence-Based Practice Is Not Restricted to Clinical Decisions 17

Developing an Evidence-Based Practice Process Outlook 17

Easier Said Than Done 23

Key Chapter Concepts 25

Review Exercises 26

Additional Readings 27

Chapter 2 Steps in the EBP Process 28

Step 1: Question Formulation 29

Step 2: Evidence Search 30

Step 3: Critically Appraising Studies and Reviews 38

Step 4: Selecting and Implementing the Intervention 40

Step 5: Monitor Client Progress 43

Feasibility Constraints 44

Key Chapter Concepts 47

Review Exercises 48

Additional Readings 49

Chapter 3 Research Hierarchies: Which Types of Research Are Best for Which Questions? 50

More Than One Type of Hierarchy for More Than One Type of EBP Question 51

Qualitative and Quantitative Studies 53

What Types of Research Designs Apply to What Types of EBP Questions? 54

Key Chapter Concepts 65

Review Exercises 67

Additional Readings 67

PART II: Critically Appraising Studies for EBP Questions about Intervention Effectiveness

Chapter 4 Criteria for Inferring Effectiveness: How Do We Know What Works? 71

Internal Validity 72

Measurement Issues 78

Statistical Chance 83

External Validity 88

Synopses of Research Studies 90

Key Chapter Concepts 95

Review Exercises 96

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 97

Additional Readings 98

Chapter 5 Critically Appraising Experiments 99

Classic Pretest–Posttest Control Group Design 100

Posttest-Only Control Group Design 102

Solomon Four-Group Design 103

Alternative Treatment Designs 104

Dismantling Designs 106

Placebo Control Group Designs 107

Experimental Demand and Experimenter Expectancies 109

Obtrusive Versus Unobtrusive Observation 110

Compensatory Equalization and Compensatory Rivalry 111

Resentful Demoralization 111

Treatment Diffusion 112

Treatment Fidelity 113

Practitioner Equivalence 113

Differential Attrition 115

Synopses of Research Studies 117

Key Chapter Concepts 123

Review Exercises 124

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 125

Additional Readings 125

Chapter 6 Critically Appraising Quasi-Experiments:Nonequivalent Comparison Groups Designs 126

Nonequivalent Comparison Groups Designs 127

Additional Logical Arrangements to Control for Potential Selectivity Biases 130

Statistical Controls for Potential Selectivity Biases 134

Propensity Score Matching Using a Policy Example 144

Pilot Studies 145

Synopses of Research Studies 147

Key Chapter Concepts 152

Review Exercises 153

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 153

Additional Readings 154

Chapter 7 Critically Appraising Quasi-Experiments: Time-Series Designs and Single-Case Designs 155

Simple Time-Series Designs 156

Multiple Time-Series Designs 159

Single-Case Designs 161

Synopses of Research Studies 168

Key Chapter Concepts 174

Review Exercises 175

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 176

Additional Reading 176

Chapter 8 Critically Appraising Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 177

Advantages of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 179

Risks in Relying Exclusively on Systematic Reviews and

Meta-Analyses 180

Where to Start 181

What to Look for When Critically Appraising Systematic Reviews 182

What Distinguishes a Systematic Review from Other Types of Reviews? 190

What to Look for When Critically Appraising Meta-Analyses 191

Synopses of Research Studies 205

Key Chapter Concepts 209

Review Exercises 211

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 212

Additional Readings 212

PART III: Critically Appraising Studies for Alternative EBP Questions

Chapter 9 Critically Appraising Nonexperimental Quantitative Studies 215

Surveys 216

Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Studies 228

Case-Control Studies 229

Synopses of Research Studies 231

Key Chapter Concepts 240

Review Exercises 242

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 242

Additional Readings 242

Chapter 10 Critically Appraising Qualitative Studies 243

Qualitative Observation 245

Qualitative Interviewing 247

Qualitative Sampling 250

Grounded Theory 252

Frameworks for Appraising Qualitative Studies 252

Mixed Model and Mixed Methods Studies 257

Synopses of Research Studies 258

Key Chapter Concepts 266

Review Exercises 271

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 272

Additional Readings 272

PART IV: Assessing Clients and Monitoring Their Progress

Chapter 11 Critically Appraising and Selecting Assessment Instruments 275

Reliability 276

Validity 280

Sensitivity 285

Feasibility 287

Sample Characteristics 288

Locating Assessment Instruments 289

Synopses of Research Studies 291

Key Chapter Concepts 296

Review Exercises 297

Exercise for Critically Appraising Published Articles 298

Additional Readings 298

Chapter 12 Monitoring Client Progress 299

A Practitioner-Friendly Design 301

Feasible Assessment Techniques 304

Summary 313

Looking Ahead 316

Key Chapter Concepts 318

Review Exercises 319

Additional Readings 319

Appendix A Illustrative Answers to Selected Review Exercises 321

Chapter 3 Review Exercises 321

Chapter 4 Review Exercises 322

Chapter 5 Review Exercises 323

Chapter 7 Review Exercises 324

Chapter 8 Review Exercises 324

Chapter 12 Review Exercises 325

Appendix B What You Do and Don’t Need to Know About Statistics When Critically Appraising Studies 327

Why Do We Need Inferential Statistics? The Bottom Line 328

The Benchmark Made Simple 329

Is That Really All You Need to Know? 330

The Benchmark Is Not Sacred! 331

What Else Do You Need to Know? 332

Conclusion 333

Glossary 335

References 345

Index 351

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