Evidence-Based Approach in the Social Area: Basic Concepts and Guidelines, History, Prospects 487
PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Moscow State University of Psychology an Education, Moscow, Russia
Head of the Sector «Center for Evidence-Based Social Design», Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia
MS in International Affairs, American University, Washington, USA
The article is devoted to the development of the evidence-based approach in the field of psychological and social practices. The article analyzes the concept of evidence-based practice, its main aspects and components. The authors show that the transfer of the evidence-based approach from medicine, where it originated, to the social sphere was accompanied by significant changes in the very concept of evidence-based practice. Reliance on scientific research of the effects of practice remains the main principle of the evidence-based approach, but in the field of psychosocial practices, the emphasis on the role of interpersonal interaction in the implementation of the practice, involving all its participants in decision-making, including patients/clients/beneficiaries, is no less significant. Unlike medicine, where priority is given to randomized controlled trials, the empirical justification of social practices can be based on other methodologies too, including quasi-experimental studies and even qualitative case descriptions. The danger of bureaucratization of the social sphere due to the introduction of the evidence-based approach is discussed. According to the authors, there is a tendency to understand evidence-based practice as a choice from a limited number of decisions supported by research and/or supported by donors. However, this simplified “drug model”, although convenient for funding organizations, does not correspond to the essence of the evidence-based approach. Proponents of the evidence-based approach certainly support practitioners to use practices with a solid empirical basis, but at the same time to focus on the entire context of interaction with a patient/client, their needs and the capabilities of the social support system.
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