Limitations of evidence-based practice for social work education: Unpacking the complexity

Kathryn Betts Adams, Holly C. Matto, Craig Lecroy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    72 Scopus citations


    Although some academic scholars have called for adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) as a unifying model for social work education and practice, controversies with the EBP approach for the social work profession still need to be examined. Some of the limitations of EBP to be recognized and addressed before recommending broad changes within social work education are described. Conceptual and definitional limitations include following a medical model, privileging certain types of evidence, and downplaying the importance of theory. Implementation and feasibility limitations include sorting the complexity of research information and providing necessary practice grounding and supervision to facilitate knowledge application. Dialogue on the role of EBP in social work education must continue.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)165-186
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Social Work Education
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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