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Bruce A. Thyer, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LCSW Presented at the 2016 Michigan Autism Conference
Abstract: The term evidence-based practice (EBP) is often confused with the act of locating treatments which have been well-supported through past research studies, and then deciding to apply these treatments to one’s work with clients. This latter model formally originated within psychology and can be called the Research-Supported Treatments (RST) initiative, and is sponsored by Division 12 (Clinical) of the American Psychological Association. EBP is a quite different approach, originating in medicine, and includes many other considerations in choosing assessment and treatment options. These other central elements include client preferences and values, professional ethics, costs, one’s own clinical expertise, available resources, all of which are valued equally with research evidence. This generic clinical decision making model of EBP has been widely adopted in many health and social care professions and is having a major impact on both services and education. This presentation reviews the history and development of both EBP and ERSTs, and suggests why the RST approach is a far more limited model of practice than EBP. EBP is quite congruent with behavior analysis, and the parallels between the two fields will be illustrated.