Views and attitudes towards evidence-based practice in a Dutch social work organization

R.J.M. van der Zwet*, D.M. Beneken genaamd Kolmer, R. Schalk, T. Van Regenmortel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This case study explores the views and attitudes towards Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) of social workers and staff working in a social work organization in the Netherlands that recently committed to EBP.

Qualitative data were gathered from semi-structured interviews with 10 staff members and 12 social workers.

Confusion about the meaning of EBP was a major theme among both social workers and staff and EBP was conceptualized in several different ways. Some respondents perceived EBP as using interventions for which there is scientific evidence that it is effective, i.e. Research-Supported Treatments (RSTs), other’s used a broader conceptualization that, besides scientific evidence, also takes into account professional expertise and/or client circumstances (EBP process). A strong preference for the EBP process as opposed to RSTs was another major theme among both social workers and staff.

The results suggest that organizations preparing for EBP implementation will need to increase both staff’s and social workers’ understanding of EBP by providing a clear explanation of the difference between RSTs and the EBP process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Journal Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Evidence-based practice
  • case-study
  • implementation
  • social work organization


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