Dr Maike Neuhaus
What it means to work evidence-based
When I seek out a practitioner to support me in a particular way, I always make sure they work evidence-based. I also make sure prospective clients of mine understand that I work evidence-based as well. Yet, in my experience, this phrase is still often misunderstood. Therefore, in this blog article, I wanted to share a brief description of what it means.
Working evidence-based means making decisions and taking actions based on reliable and valid evidence from research. This approach is important in many fields, including healthcare, education, and social work, as it helps ensure that the interventions or practices being used are effective and based on sound scientific principles.
In the healthcare field, for example, working evidence-based means using treatments and therapies that have been proven to be effective through research. This can include everything from medication and surgery to therapy and rehabilitation. By basing treatment decisions on evidence, healthcare professionals can ensure that their patients are receiving the most effective care possible.
In education, working evidence-based means using teaching methods and strategies that have been shown to be effective through research. This can include things like using multimedia to teach a new concept or providing extra support to struggling students. By using evidence-based practices, educators can ensure that their students are learning in the most effective and efficient way possible.
In social work, working evidence-based means using interventions and practices that have been shown to be effective in helping individuals, families, and communities. This can include things like providing counselling to help individuals overcome mental health challenges or developing community programs to address social issues. By using evidence-based practices, social workers can make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve.
There are several key benefits to working evidence-based. First and foremost, it helps ensure that the interventions or practices being used are effective and likely to produce the desired outcomes. This can lead to better outcomes for individuals and communities, as well as more efficient use of resources. Additionally, working evidence-based promotes transparency and accountability, as it allows practitioners to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of their interventions or practices.
Working evidence-based can also help to reduce bias and subjectivity. By basing decisions and actions on research and objective evidence, practitioners can avoid letting personal beliefs or opinions cloud their judgment. This can lead to more objective and unbiased decision-making.
Of course, working evidence-based isn't always easy. It requires practitioners to stay up-to-date on the latest research and to be willing to adapt their interventions and practices as new evidence emerges. It also requires a willingness to challenge existing beliefs and practices if they are not supported by evidence.
However, the benefits of working evidence-based far outweigh the challenges. By basing decisions and actions on reliable and valid evidence, practitioners can ensure that they are making a positive impact and truly making a difference in the lives of the people they serve.