The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Replication of a Model for Continuing Education Training in Evidence-Based Practice

Saturday, January 19, 2013
Grande Ballroom A, B, and C (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
* noted as presenting author
Andrea N. Gromoske, MSW, Doctoral Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Lisa K. Berger, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Danielle Parrish, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Background: The use of empirically-supported programs has been shown to improve client outcomes; however, practitioners who are currently in the field tend not to engage in the EBP process or the implementation of empirically-supported interventions (Bellamy et al., 2006; Mullen & Bacon, 2004; Sanderson, 2002). There are multiple barriers to implementing EBP, and continuing education on the EBP process is one approach to alleviating some of these barriers. Parrish and Rubin (2011a) developed an effective continuing education model to train practitioners in the EBP process. However, no studies have attempted to replicate their findings with a different sample or disparate training facilitators. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Parrish and Rubin’s (2011a) model with a sample from a different geographic location and utilize workshop facilitators who did not develop the training model.

Method: We used a one-group pretest-posttest design to assess Parrish and Rubin’s 7-hour EBP model (2011a), using the same format and materials. The workshop was offered free of charge by a large mid-west school of social work’s continuing education program in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012. A 25% off coupon for a future continuing education class was offered for participation in the study. The workshop’s effectiveness was assessed using practitioners’ scores on an initial version of the Evidence-based Practice Process Assessment Scale (EBPPAS; Parrish & Rubin, 2011b), which assesses familiarity with, attitudes toward, barriers to, intentions to use, and current use of the EBP process. Twenty of 24 practitioners at the Fall 2011 workshop and 17 of 18 practitioners at the Spring 2012 workshop completed both the pre and posttest. Due to the small sample size, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to determine if there were significant changes in scores on EBPPAS items and subscales.

Results: The authors determined that there were only two items at pre and posttest that differed between the cohorts; thus, cohorts were combined for a full-sample analysis. Practitioners’ scores on the “Familiarity” and “Intentions to Use” subscales significantly improved from pretest to posttest. Subscales measuring “Attitudes” and “Barriers” did not significantly change. Individual items also indicated similar changes with most improvements on the “Familiarity” and “Intentions to Use” sections. Several items from the “Attitudes” section also showed significant improvements.

Discussion: The results of this study replicate findings by Parrish and Rubin (2011a) that their EBP training model is effective in changing practitioners’ familiarity with and intentions to use the EBP process with a disparate geographic location and different facilitators. Lack of change on some subscales or items may be explained by generally positive attitudes toward EBP at pretest. This EBP training model appears promising in increasing EBP process implementation, which could lead to a greater use of empirically supported programs.