ERIC Number: EJ912934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
The Evidence Missing from Evidence-Based Practice
Stuart, Richard B.; Lilienfeld, Scott O.
American Psychologist, v62 n6 p615-616 Sep 2007
Comments on the report by the APA Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice (see record 2006-05893-001) entitled Evidence-based practice in psychology. Regrettably, the task force report was largely silent on three critical issues. As a consequence, it omitted much of the evidence necessary for a complete picture of evidence-based practice. First, the task force report did not operationalize "evidence." Second, the task force report did not address the crucial problem of iatrogenic treatments. Third, the task force report said little about the necessity for ongoing objective evaluation of clinical cases, which is critical to ethically responsible services. Current debate centers on how research findings should be factored into interventions, not on whether it is necessary to do so. Rather than waiting for the resolution of competing views on the matter, psychologists bear an ethical obligation to offer evidence-informed services. Three critical steps that were largely neglected by the task force report can go far toward helping psychologists honor that commitment: (a) providing a clearer operationalization of scientific evidence, (b) using current research to rule out the use of potentially harmful methods, and (c) using objective criteria to evaluate all of their cases on an ongoing basis. These steps, in turn, clarify the menu of options available to therapists, help protect clients from harm, and offer the advantage of allowing clinicians to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about what does and does not work in psychotherapy.
Descriptors: Psychologists, Evidence, Inferences, Theory Practice Relationship, Reader Response, Intervention, Clinical Psychology, Professional Services, Research Committees, Research Needs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A