Policy Statement on Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology

Policy statement on evidence-based practice in psychology1

The following statement was approved as policy of the American Psychological Association (APA) by the APA Council of Representatives during its August, 2005 meeting.

Evidence-based practice in psychology (EBPP) is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences.2 This definition of EBPP closely parallels the definition of evidence-based practice adopted by the Institute of Medicine (2001, p. 147) as adapted from Sackett and colleagues (2000): "Evidence-based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values." The purpose of EBPP is to promote effective psychological practice and enhance public health by applying empirically supported principles of psychological assessment, case formulation, therapeutic relationship, and intervention.

1An expanded discussion of the issues raised in this policy statement including the rationale and references supporting it may be found in the Report of the Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice (PDF, 242KB).
2To be consistent with discussions of evidence-based practice in other areas of health care, we use the term patient to refer to the child, adolescent, adult, older adult, couple, family, group, organization, community, or other populations receiving psychological services. However, we recognize that in many situations there are important and valid reasons for using such terms as client, consumer or person in place of patient to describe the recipients of services.
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