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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
  ABN 23 050 334 435

1. Introduction

Evidence based practice (EBP) was first coined in the medical profession. Since then it has been adopted and developed in many professions.

The essence of EBP is practice based on a combination of the following three factors:

1. best evidence
2. best clinical experience
3. consistent with client values.

Evidence based practice is contentious. There are a variety of views about key questions such as: What evidence is required? What is best evidence? and How is best evidence generated?

This is also a gulf in most professions between the available evidence and the evidence required to provide good evidence based practice.

At the same time, 'evidence based practice' can be a useful tool when used appropriately, just as 'quality improvement' can be a useful tool if used appropriately. Used inappropriately both of these approaches can reduce the quality of programs and service rather than improve their quality.

These notes outline:

  • The essence of evidence based practice
  • Examples of definitions of EBP
  • Key questions needing discussion
  • Practical suggestions for human service organisations.