The Role and Nature of Evidence: A Systematic Review of Social Workers' Evidence-Based Practice Orientation, Attitudes, and Implementation

Laura Scurlock-Evans, Dominic UPTON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns have been raised over the appropriateness of adopting evidence-based practice (EBP) as a framework for practice within social work. In this systematic review the authors aim to synthesise research findings exploring social workers' EBP orientation, attitudes, adoption, knowledge, skills, and perceived EBP barriers and facilitators. Numerous challenges to EBP implementation were identified, including: time management, research accessibility, and misperceptions of the role of evidence in decision making. Colleagues, supervisors, perceived experts, organizational culture, and tailored training were important for social workers' dissemination and utilization of evidence. Social workers may prefer more conversational, face-to-face methods of research dissemination. Implications of the review findings are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Cite this