Evidence-based Practice

StoryChamps_classroom 470 x 250

At the Institute for Human Development (IHD), we have whole-heartedly embraced evidence-based practice as a decision-making framework that involves the conscientious integration of the best available evidence, professional judgment and clinical expertise, and client values, preferences, and context. To facilitate communication among disability professionals, we refer to treatments, interventions, and programs that meet specific criteria for research support as empirically supported interventions (known in some disciplines as empirically supported treatments). It should be noted that our definition of best available evidence extends beyond the high evidence standards used to establish empirically supported interventions. Our concept of best available evidence includes the available evidence in the absence of the best evidence. This means practitioners are encouraged to consider the evidence that is available so that some degree of research evidence can always be considered together with professional judgment and client values, preferences, and context to make clinical decisions.

The IHD has an outstanding team of researchers who are also expert practitioners in the disability disciplines of medicine, psychology, speech-language pathology, and education. This team is actively engaged in innovative research that has direct implications for disability-related practice. We aim to narrow the research-to-practice gap through active dissemination of research recommendations using practitioner-friendly formats. Our goal is to support organizations and practitioners in

  • understanding evidence-based practice as a decision-making framework
  • selecting interventions with the best available research
  • integrating clinical expertise and client values and preferences

To accomplish these objectives, the IHD has initiated a number of recent efforts:

Evidence-based Practice in Disability Disciplines Conference

  • This will serve as a mechanism for organizing and disseminating evidence-based resources to practitioners who work with individuals with disabilities.
  • Practitioners from many human service disciplines will be able to receive continuing education units (CEUs).
  • Conference participants will receive electronic handouts with references so that they can document the evidence supporting the interventions presented.

Bridge Brief: A Research-to-Practice Resource

  • Briefs emphasize how the results of the featured study extend the current best available evidence.
  • Briefs highlight how the results can be integrated with professional judgment and client values, preferences, and context to make clinical decisions.
  • Sign up to be on the dissemination email list.

Training, Support, and Research Syntheses

  • Workshops, trainings, and conference presentations are available on the following topics: Evidence-based Practice, Professional Judgment and Client Values, Using Research in Practice, and Working Collaboratively with Others.
  • Research syntheses are reviews of literature specifically designed to inform policy and/or practice. 


Education and Treatment of Children SpecialIssue

American Speech-language Hearing Association(ASHA)