The myth of evidence-based practice: Towards evidence-informed practice

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167 Scopus citations


In this paper, we analyse the five steps of the evidence-based practice (EBP) model and argue that this model has serious limitations, both theoretical and practical. We argue that the relationship between evidence and practice cannot be that of supplying a basis, at least not if that notion is understood in any strict logical or methodological sense. Other factors have to be taken account of in addition to evidence and their relation to the evidence has to be explained. Following others, we advocate a more comprehensive view of practice as informed by evidence and theory. Evidence-informed practice (EIP) should be understood as excluding non-scientific prejudices and superstitions, but also as leaving ample room for clinical experience as well as the constructive and imaginative judgements of practitioners and clients who are in constant interaction and dialogue with one another. Under the EIP model, there is no need for the five-steps procedure of the EBP model, but only that practitioners will become knowledgeable of a wide rang of sourcesempirical studies, case studies and clinical insightsand use them in creative ways throughout the intervention process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1197
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Evidence-based practice
  • clinical practice
  • evaluation
  • evidence-informed practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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