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Willma & Albert Musher Program at Columbia University School of Social Work

Evidence Based Practice & Policy
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The following specialized bibliographies were developed when the Musher Program website was first designed and they have not been updated since. Many of the links may no longer be functional. For a current annotated list of evidence-based policy and practice references refer to Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Especially relevant are three of the Oxford Bibliographies: Evidence-based Social Work Practice; Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Finding the Evidence; and, Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Issues, Controversies, and Debates.

Databases are marked with an “*”


Agency for Health Care Research & Quality (AHRQ) - Home
Washington D.C., USA  (home) & (EBP)

AHRQ is the the Nation's lead Federal agency for research on health care quality, costs, outcomes, and patient safety.


California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC)

San Diego, CA

The CEBC helps to identify and disseminate information regarding evidence-based practices relevant to child welfare. The CEBC provides guidance on evidence-based practices to statewide agencies, counties, public and private organizations, and individuals. This guidance is provided in simple straightforward formats reducing the user's need to conduct literature searches, review extensive literature, or understand and critique research methodology.


*Campbell Collaboration (C2): The Campbell Collaboration Library and Database

Philidelphia, USA

The C2 website posts a searchable database of randomized controlled clinical trials and systematic reviews of social, psychological, education, and criminological research. All research presented on the website has met rigorous methodological standards and are designed to provide researchers, policy makers, and practitioners with critical reviews of current research. Currently twenty one full reviews are available to download from the website and several more are currently in progress.


Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Monash Institute of Public Health

(follow links to "Evidence Reports")

Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Toronto

The goal of this website is to help develop, disseminate, and evaluate resources that can be used to practise and teach EBM for undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education for health care professionals from a variety of clinical disciplines. This site also serves as a support for the book entitled, Evidence-based Medicine: How to practice and teach EBM by David L. Sackett, Sharon E. Straus, W. Scott Richardson, William Rosenberg, and R. Brian Haynes.

Centre for Evidence-based Mental Health

Promoting and supporting the teaching and practice of evidence based mental healthcare. The Centre is located in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

Centre for Evidence-Based Social Services (CEBSS)

CEBSS is jointly funded by The Department of Health and a consortium of Social Services Departments in the South West of England with the main aim of ensuring that decisions taken at all levels in Social Services are informed by trends from good-quality research. CEBSS is based at the University of Exeter and is part of the Peninsula Medical School.


Centre for Evaluation of Social Services: English Version Home Website

Stockholm, Sweden

The centre website outlines research activities of the Centre and publications, mainly in Swedish, in the areas of substance abuse, child and adolescent welfare, economic aid, ethnicity, migration and social work, and the theory and practice of evaluation. A newsletter is also posted and some publication off prints of manuscripts original published in Swedish and international journals are available in English.


Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and Evidence-based Practice

Oxford, England

The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) is a programme within Learning & Development at the Public Health Resource Unit. Since 1993 the programme has helped to develop an evidence-based approach in health and social care, working with local, national and international groups. CASP aims to enable individuals to develop the skills to find and make sense of research evidence, helping them to put knowledge into practice. CASP’s workshops and resources are in three main areas of work which are reflected in CASP’s three-arrow logo: finding research evidence, appraising research evidence, and acting on research evidence.


Curriculum, Evaluation, and Management Centre (CEM)

The CEM Centre is committed to applying the best standards of science to the development and evaluation of policies. Since the ALIS project started in 1983, we appear to have become the largest provider of performance indicators to schools and colleges in the world, through the distributed research projects that are listed overleaf. We also run the biennial conference Evidence-Based Policies And Indicator Systems, an international andmulti-disciplinary conference, first held in July 1997 at the University of Durham. This conference is part of our commitment to developing evidence-based practice, as is our work for an Evidence-Based Education Network in which schools, colleges and LEAs share good evidence as to policies that work. We have undertaken research with many government agencies to develop, test and evaluate policies, most recently the Value Added National Project in England.


Dartmouth University’s Evidence-based Practices Web Site

A site focusing on evidence-based practices in mental health services.


Department of Health and Human Services: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence Based Practice

Washington, D.C., United States

The department website provides links to evidence base practice centers in the United States and Canada performing funded research and information mainly in the area of physical health, but also provides reports in psychiatry and substance abuse.


Health Information Research Unit, McMaster University

The Health Information Research Unit (HIRU) at McMaster University conducts research in the field of health information science and is dedicated to the generation of new knowledge about the nature of health and clinical information problems, the development of new information resources to support evidence-based health care, and the evaluation of various innovations in overcoming health care information problems.

Evidence-based Healthcare Toolbox

This site supports the book: Gray, J. A. M. (2001). Evidence-based healthcare (2 ed.). New York: Churchill Livingstone.

Evidence-Based Medicine: Finding the Best Clinical Literature by Jo Dorsch, Library of the Health Sciences - Peoria, University of Illinois at Chicago

This guide is designed to assist health care professionals and students become effective and efficient users of the medical literature.

Evidence-Based Medicine Tool Kit

Evidence-Based Medicine: What it is and What it isn’t

This site provides an article which is based on an editorial from the British Medical Journal on 13th January 1996 (BMJ 1996; 312: 71-2) by David L Sackett, William MC Rosenberg, JA Muir Gray, R Brian Haynes, W Scott Richardson.

Evidence based policy & practice (EPPI-Centre), University of London, Institute of Education, Social Science Research Unit

The Social Science Research Unit, directed by Professor Ann Oakley, is a research centre at the University of London Institute of Education. It was established in October 1990 with a remit to develop a programme of policy-relevant work in the broad areas of education and health. It is resourced both from central Institute of Education funds and from research grants. The Unit's research programme covers health, education and welfare, and employs a range of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Unit staff have national and international reputations in their fields of expertise. In addition to descriptive analytic and experimental evaluations of social interventions, SSRU is also highly involved in research synthesis to inform policy and practice of social interventions and in building research capacity in this area. This programme of work is located in the EPPI-Centre which has three inter-linked streams of work: Health promotion:research and dissemination of information relating to the evaluation of health promotion interventions; Education:a centre for evidence informed policy and practice in education; User involvement: investigating the generation and the use of evidence of effectiveness as seen by people using health and education services.

Evidence-based Practice Centers for synthesizing scientific evidence to improve quality and effectiveness in health care

Under the Evidence-based Practice Program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—AHCPR), 5-year contracts are awarded to institutions in the United States and Canada to serve as Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs). The EPCs review all relevant scientific literature on clinical, behavioral, and organization and financing topics to produce evidence reports and technology assessments. The EPCs also conduct research on methodologies and the effectiveness of their implementation, and provide technical assistance in translating the reports and assessments into quality improvement tools and in helping to inform coverage policies.

Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions

The information contained in this website appears in: Gibbs, L. (2003). Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions: A Practical Guide with Integrated Multimedia, Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ Cole an Imprint of Wadsworth Publishers. This site provides additional resources for the book.

Evidence Network

The Focus Point for Evidence Based Policy and Practice Research in the UK. A starting point for accessing social science research publications relevant to policy and practice. Open to users in the research community, the voluntary sector, local and central government, public agencies and commercial organizations providing search tools and a referral framework to enable users to pursue their enquiries. A forum for debate and discussion of issues and problems in relation to evidence-based policy.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Clinical Trials Network

Maryland, United States

This U.S. institute website provides information about drug abuse related research studies and contact information for regional research “nodes” currently carrying out studies and trainings related to research based practice.


New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH): Creating an Environment of Quality Through Evidence-Based Practices

New York State, United States

Under a new “Winds of Change” campaign New York’s OMH website outlines its program to provide Accountability, Best practice, and Coordination of care, or the “ABCs” of mental health care based on federal policy and research initiatives and a recent Best Practices conference in 2001. The website includes a primer on evidence based practice including highlights on: definitions of EBP and “best practices”, toolkits, as well as priority EBPs for adults and children. Each priority EBP is outlined in an overview format to highlight major research findings and definitions. The website also provides a downloadable version of the New York State Mental Health progress report which give an overview of the large and varied state public mental health system. Other helpful links include articles and other resources on specific EBPs in New York state, draft program fidelity scales, and examples of EBP implementation plans.


North Carolina Evidence Based Practices Center

Fayetteville, North Carolina

The North Carolina Evidence Based Practices Center is dedicated to the support of evidence based mental health practices, treatments, and interventions. In partnership with the North Carolina Council of Community Programs and the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, our training program is based on five evidence based practice toolkits developed and endorsed by nationally recognized experts. The program offers training, consultation, and other assistance to help practitioners and administrators make the changes required by ongoing mental health reforms in North Carolina.


Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center

The Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (Oregon EPC) conducts systematic reviews of healthcare topics for federal and state agencies and private foundations. These reviews report the evidence from clinical research studies and the quality of that evidence for use by policy makers in decisions on guidelines and coverage issues.


Picker Institute Europe (National Research Corporation USA

The Picker Institute works with health care providers throughout Europe using scientifically validated instruments and rigorous survey methodologies to evaluate the quality of their services and provide them with actionable feedback. It also carries out research and educational activities on healthcare quality improvement and methods for promoting patient-centred care. The National Research Corporation is the US affiliate.


*Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE): Home page

London, England

This website provides a free online library with an extensive collection of social care knowledge including practice information, skills tutorials, research, and several thousand abstracts related to Evidence Based Practice. The database is currently under redevelopment and the new version should be available in early 2005. The site also includes two practice guides: one for managing practice, which outlines useful tools for managers including supervision and team development, and one aimed at assessing the mental health needs of older persons. Monthly research and mainly English policy updates are included as well as helpful links to the Be Evidence Based website and research search engine and other evidence based initiatives. The site also provides a number of publications related to evidence based practice including pieces on social work education, using evidence from diverse research designs, and systematic reviews.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP): Model Programs and National Registry of

Effective Programs.

Maryland., United States

The website provides information about substance abuse and mental health programs tested in communities, schools, social service organizations, and workplaces in the United States. Nominated programs are reviewed research teams who rate the programs primarily on methodological quality, but also consider other factors such as theoretical development and community involvement. Programs are rated in increasing order of quality as either: promising, effective, or model. Information briefs are provided regarding each of the programs including an overview description, estimated costs, background, target areas, references, and creator or developer contact information. The website also includes funding, helpful topic-specific links, and technical assistance information. Also available for download from this site is the “Comparison Matrix for Science Based Prevention Programs”, an outline of research-based programs and their comparative ratings by five different U.S. federal agencies as well as their rating standards.


Therapeutics Initiative (University of British Columbia)

The Therapeutics Initiative has been established in 1994 by the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in cooperation with the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia to provide physicians and pharmacists with up to date, evidence based, practical information on rational drug therapy. The Initiative is an independent organization, which is at arms length from government, pharmaceutical industry and other vested interest groups.


*United States Department of Education Institute of Education Science: What Works Clearinghouse

Washington D.C., United States

This website is currently under development. It will provide systematic reviews of education related research under numerous topic areas including adult learning and drop out prevention. This effort is a joint venture between the American Institutes for Research and the Campbell Collaboration. As of yet the detailed reviews are not yet available. Currently the website contains an overview of the standards employed in the reviews and brief description of the topic areas to come.


*University of St. Andrews: Research Unit for Research Utilization

The website contains a number of downloadable manuscripts related to organizational change and learning, the development of a taxonomy of research aimed at improving dissemination and a number of other areas of interest to improving the impact of research. The unit is currently developing a database of literature related research utilization.


University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries (n.d.). Evidence-Based Practice Tools Summary. Retrieved July 1, 2005, from the World Wide Web:

This web site provides a pyramid of evidence-based practice search tools organized by level of evidence. Three meta-search engines are identified (PrimeEvidence, TRIP+, SUMSearch) and other sources are classified into nine levels.


University of York, Department of Social Policy and Social Work: Social Policy and Research Unit

York, England

This department website outlines research efforts aimed at the development of policies and the delivery of services centered on the efforts of three teams including the: 1) Children and family team 2) Community Care for Adults Team, and 3) Social Security Team. Detailed information on a range of research areas ranging from meeting housing needs of families with disabled children to employment issues is presented including research reports, outlines, and contacts for further information.


*Descriptions of web sites are either direct quotes or adaptations from those provided on the respective sites.




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