• Building the evidence for social work practice

      Lawton, Aoife; Health Service Executive, Dr. Steevens' Library (Irish Association of Social Workers, 2015-09)
      Evidence based practice is a model that has been in healthcare since the 1990s with the advent of ‘evidence based medicine’. EBM was defined in 1996 as “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients”. The practice of EBM “means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” (Sackett, et al BMJ 1996;312:71). How successful healthcare providers are at translating EBP into better patient outcomes and better practice is difficult if not impossible to measure. All healthcare providers and all healthcare practitioners have a part to play. Published research makes up an important part of the evidence based practice paradigm. Research in social work is justified by its relevance for use in social work practice and policy making (Kreisberg et al. 2015). This article examines the evidence base of social work in Ireland in terms of published literature over a 10 year period. It explores the quality and quantity of the research and the translation of evidence based practice into better outcomes for users of the health service.