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Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions
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Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions
An Evidence-Based Approach to Practice



August 2004 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


The current practice of counseling, psychotherapy, and most helping professions often relies on clinical wisdom with little evidence of what actually works. Clinical wisdom is often a justification for beliefs and values that bond people together as professionals but often fails to serve clients since many of those beliefs and values may be comforting, but they may also be inherently incorrect.

Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions: An Evidence-Based Approach to Practice
covers the use of research and critical thinking to assist helping professionals make the most effective choices in treating clients with social and emotional problems. The use of evidence-based practice (EBP) comes at a time when managed care and concerns over health care costs coincide with growing concerns that psychotherapy, case management, and counseling may not be sufficiently effective ways of helping people in social and emotional difficulty.

Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions provides an easy-to-read, inclusive approach covering EBP with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and terrorism, bereavement, substance abuse, mental illness, and problems experienced by older adults, among others. This text critically reviews the literature on self-help groups, religious involvement, and spirituality. It also includes sources to find best evidence, a simple overview of research concepts, a chapter on critical thinking, and numerous relevant case studies showing the application of EBP.

Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions is ideally suited for undergraduate and graduate students in social work, psychology, counseling, criminal justice, psychiatric nursing, and psychiatry. This book should also prove beneficial to all practitioners and specialists in the helping professions.


 
Acknowledgments & Preface
 
Part 1: THE CORE BELIEFS OF EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
 
Chapter 1: An Explanation of Evidence-Based Practice
Definitions of EBP

 
Concerns About EBP From the Practice Community

 
Additional Criticisms of EBP With Responses

 
Is Evidence-Based Practice Applicable to the Helping Professions?

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 2: A Simple Guide to Reading and Understanding Practice Research
Understanding the Scientific Method

 
A Few Important Issues to Consider When Reading Research

 
The Types of Research Studies

 
Quantitative (Empirical) Designs

 
Controlling for False Findings: Internal and External Validity

 
Internal Validity: Threats to Finding Cause-Effect Relationships

 
External Validity: Problems in Research That Limit Our Ability to Generalize Our Findings to Other Similar People, Situations, or Events

 
Sampling: A General Discussion

 
Sampling a Population Whose Members Are Known: Probability Sampling

 
Sampling a Population Whose Members Are Not Known: Nonprobability Sampling

 
Incorrect Conclusions

 
Reviews of Research That Yield Best Evidence

 
Applying Best Evidence to Practice

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 3: The Importance of Critical Thinking in Evidence-Based Practice
 
Ways of Knowing
Mythologized Knowledge

 
Understanding the Logical Progressions in Research Ideas

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 4: Locating Relevant Clinical Research
Useful and Not-So-Useful Sources

 
Evaluating the Quality of Articles Reviewed

 
Locating Relevant Research

 
Locating Evidence-Based Material on the Internet

 
Common Internet Sources

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Part 2: HOW EBP VIEWS DIAGNOSIS, ASSESSMENT, AND WORKER- CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
 
Chapter 5: Using Evidence-Based Practice in Diagnosis
Concerns About the Diagnostic Process

 
Reducing Errors in Diagnosis

 
The Adverse Impact of Labeling

 
Case Study: A Culturally Sensitive Diagnosis

 
Examples of EBP Diagnostic Data

 
Case Study: A Misdiagnosis

 
Highly Aggressive and Violent Young Children

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 6: Evidence-Based Practice and Psychosocial Assessments
Case Study: Evidence-Based Practice and the Assessment Process

 
The Psychosocial Assessment Outline and the Relevant Information Pertaining to the Case

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 7: Evidence-Based Practice and the Client-Worker Relationship: The Significance of the Therapeutic Relationship
Defining the Therapeutic Relationship

 
Evidence of the Importance of the Therapeutic Relationship to Treatment Outcomes

 
Gender and the Therapeutic Relationships

 
Racial and Ethnic Variables in Therapeutic Effectiveness

 
Case Study: A Positive Therapeutic Relationship

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Part 3: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE WITH SPECIAL CLIENT POPULATIONS
 
Chapter 8: Evidence-Based Practice Wth Cluster B Personality Disorders
The Four Types of Cluster B Personality Disorders

 
Developmental Theories Explaining Cluster B Personality Disorders

 
Treating Cluster B Personality Disorders: An Evidence-Based Practice Perspective

 
Case Study: EBP With a Borderline Personality-Disordered Client

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 9: Evidence-Based Practice With Victims of Violence and Terrorism
Understanding the Link Between Trauma and the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

 
The Potential for Developing PTSD

 
The Prevalence of PTSD

 
The Impact of Recent Acts of Terrorism

 
Case Study: Adapting to a Terrorist Attack

 
Best Evidence of Effective Treatment for PTSD

 
The Recovery Process

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 10: Evidence-Based Practice With Substance Abusers
 
Diagnostic Markers of Substance Abuse
Best Evidence for the Treatment of Substance Abuse

 
Case Study: A Brief Intervention After an Alcohol-Related Car Accident

 
Research Problems and Best Evidence

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 11: Evidence-Based Practice With Mental Illness and Mood Disorders
The Extent and Impact of Mental Illness

 
Definitions of Mental Illness and Mood Disorders

 
Treatment Effectiveness Research

 
Case Study: Spontaneous Remission From Mental Illness

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 12: Evidence-Based Practice With Terminal Illness and Bereavement
Terminal Illness

 
A Case Study: EBP With Terminal Illness

 
Bereavement

 
Case Study: EBP With Prolonged Grief

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 13: Evidence-Based Practice With Anxiety and Depression in Older Adults
Anxiety in Older Adults

 
Best Evidence for the Treatment of Anxiety With an Older Adult Population

 
Case Study: Anxiety in an Older Client

 
Depression in Older Adults

 
Best Evidence for Treating Depression in Older Clients

 
Case Study: Depression in an Older Adult

 
Single-Subject Approaches to Evaluate Depression in Older Adults

 
A Goal Attainment Scale Measuring Improvement in Depression

 
How to Calculate the Overall Gain Made on a Goal Attainment Scale

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Part 4: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE AND ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO HELPING
 
Chapter 14: Evidence-Based Practice and the Significance of Religion and Spirituality
Definitions of Spirituality and Religious Involvement

 
The Impact of Spirituality and Religious Involvement on Physical and Mental Health

 
Case Study: A Client Using Religion to Cope With a Traumatic Childhood

 
Why Does Religious and Spiritual Involvement Impact Physical and Mental Health?

 
Should Issues of Religion and Spirituality Be Included in the Work of the Helping Professions?

 
Case Study: Religious Issues Discussed in Treatment

 
Problematic Research Issues

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 15: Evidence-Based Practice and the Effectiveness of Indigenous Helpers and Self-Help Groups
Self-Help Groups

 
The Indigenous Leaders of Self-Help Groups

 
Case Study: An Indigenous Helper Starts a Self-Help Group

 
Best Evidence of the Effectiveness of Self-Help Groups

 
Q and A With the Author About the Meaning of These Studies

 
Case Study: Referral of a Client to a Self-Help Group for Severe Depression

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Part 5: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE AND FUTURE TRENDS, SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT, AND FINAL WORDS
 
Chapter 16: The Future of Psychotherapy
The Need for Practice Research

 
Alternative Ideas for Research on Treatment Efficacy

 
The Future of the Helping Professions

 
A Case Study: An Incompetent Worker Treats Chronic Depression

 
A Different Kind of Future: Workers Share Their Thoughts

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 17: Some Final Words
Social Involvement

 
Avoiding Serious Practice Issues

 
Final Words

 
Summary

 
Integrative Questions

 
References

 
 
About the Author
 
Index
Key features
  1. Easy to read even though the book covers a number of research concepts.
  2. An overview of the theoretical framework underlying evidence-based practice.
  3. Many case examples in which EBP is applied to practice.
  4. A chapter on finding best practice, another on critical thinking, and another on           research concepts necessary to use EBP, all written in very easy to read language.
  5. Very up to date research studies.
  6. Chapters on application of EBP to a number of very complex social and emotional           problems including PTSD and Terrorism and the impact of spirituality, religious           involvement and self-help groups.
 

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