Where’s the evidence base?

Evidence-based practice in all areas of health care*, including AOD and Mental Health is old hat now.  If you’re not familiar, the general premise is that practical decisions, or clinical practice decisions, are informed by research and that this research meets the requirements or norms that suggest scientific rigor.

In practice, we may not know the exact evidence base for the way we do things.  It may just be the way that we were trained or taught – so Alcohol and Drug Findings have come up with two handy little matrices to help link research to practice.

Alcohol Matrix

Drug Matrix

Choose the intervention level and intervention type and select the corresponding box – Et voilà! a list of the key articles, seminal works, reviews and guidelines in that area.

**When choosing the intervention level, column A and B are most relevant for those working directly with clients, column C and D for their managers, and column E for community partnerships and policy level work.

When choosing an intervention type, row 1 is most useful for those in generic or harm reduction services, row 2 and 3 for those in specialist medical services, row 4 for counsellors and therapists in specialist services, and row 5 for those who work in criminal justice.

For example, someone working in CAFSS may be interested in box 1A on the Drugs Matrix- “Effectiveness of harm reduction interventions”.  When they click on this box they are taken to a list of articles that provide evidence for harm reduction interventions.  Items marked with an S are Seminal, K are Key, R is a Review, and G are Guidelines.  You can then click on an article to open the abstract or the article itself.  If you are unable to access the full text of an article you can contact the Resource Centre about obtaining a copy.** 

It is a bit heavily weighted with items from the UK, being a resource from there. But useful nonetheless.

*In all professions now? EBP is certainly a buzz phrase in Library and Information circles recently.  
** This item was updated on 23/08/13 with further information on how to use the matrices

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