Evidence-based practices, or EBPs, are therapies that have been studied academically or clinically, proved successful, and replicated by more than one investigation or review, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This model blends medically researched findings with individual patient beliefs and the provider’s clinical knowledge. Evidence-based care practices incorporate clinically validated strategies and studies to make treatment more successful for more people.
- The evidence-based practice treatment procedure, according to most experts, has six steps for the provider: Examine the patient and assess their health requirements; ask the required questions.
- Obtain appropriate research and thoroughly investigate all inquiries or reports.
- Evaluate the knowledge’s applicability, relevance, and consistency in light of the patient’s circumstance.
- Discuss the client’s research findings and decide how they fit into their personal beliefs, desires, and priorities.
- Apply what you’ve learned by working together with your patient to create a joint action plan.
A seventh stage is used by some clinicians, in which the clinician reviews their success on a case-by-case basis.
The Types of Evidence-Based Practices
When science advances and more experiments are performed, evidence-based practices become more prevalent.
Listed Below are a Few Evidence-Based Practices Treatments that are Successful for Various Disorders:
- Many conditions, including alcohol and mental health disorders, benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- Exposure therapy is used to treat anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Adolescents with issues such as drug abuse can benefit from functional family therapy.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy is for individuals who have several disorders.
- Motivational Interviewing is a technique that may aid in the recovery of people who have struggled with drug abuse.
- Assertive group treatment is a form of intensive care for people with severe mental disabilities and disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most well-known Evidence-Based Practices. It can help with anxiety and depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, addiction, and drug abuse. CBT, according to NAMI, is a therapy that helps people realize the links between self-destructive actions and negative thoughts and emotions. This form of psychotherapy is an active technique that positively changes the way you think affects brain chemistry. CBT has an established track record of effective evidence-based practice, backed by extensive empirical studies.
An analysis of cognitive-behavioural therapy trials on several conditions was performed. Eleven of the studies specifically compared CBT to other approaches, and seven found that CBT produced better results. These types of studies contribute to the body of evidence for CBT.
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Concerns and Controversies Related to Evidence-Based Practices
Over the years, Evidence-Based Practices has ignited a great deal of discussion in the mental health sector, especially over the method of deciding whether or not anything is an EBT (Nathan, 2004; Tanenbaum, 2005).
Aside from a general debate over the concept of “proof” as it relates to Evidence-Based treatment and Evidence-Based Practices (Tanenbaum, 2005), there has been significant disagreement over the research methods and models used in assessing interventions, especially the efficacy versus effectiveness model (Nathan, 2004). Efficacy models are frequently used in laboratory settings to characterize carefully monitored studies with time constraints and random treatment assignments.RCTs (randomized controlled trials) are used to determine efficacy.
Real-world research is concerned with efficacy models, in which interventions are studied in clinical environments with mental health providers and the individuals who visit them daily. Pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs) are used to assess a treatment’s efficacy. Many people agree that the perfect study scenario will combine the two (Nathan, 2004).
Another problem with Evidence-Based Practices and therapies is how the pharmaceutical industry has taken advantage of the prevalence of Evidence-Based Practices to force prescription drugs and psychotropic drugs on physicians and mental health providers, as well as the patients they treat. Spence (2014) explores how drug firms quickly found out how to benefit from the “evidence” nature of medicine by generating trials and reports to show a treatment’s effectiveness, often without having enough time to evaluate adverse effects and possible long-term risks. “Today, EBM is a loaded gun aimed at clinicians’ heads,” says Des Spence, a Glasgow-based general practitioner. It hisses, ‘You better do as the evidence says,’ leaving no room for discretion or judgment. Overdiagnosis and overtreatment are now the product of EBM.”
Along these lines, there is also the point that, regardless of the quantity or consistency of supporting evidence, all psychotherapy care types provide some value. Consequently, deciding what makes one treatment more successful than another is difficult (Tenenbaum, 2005). Others object to the overemphasis on empirical analysis over more intuitive elements of psychotherapy, such as making rational decisions based on clinical experience and understanding (Nathan, 2004).
Advantages of Evidence-Based Practices
Evidence-Based Practices methods have been shown to operate in the past. Many studies have also been carried out, most notably in large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of patients. There is plenty of scientific data, and risk factors have also been measured. A comprehensive study’s findings are typically used to establish a repeatable and structured plan. Many Evidence-Based Practices come with detailed written instructions and the resources required to put them into practice. Treatments based on Evidence-Based Practices can also be less costly than conventional therapy.
Evidence-based practitioners are usually high and expressly qualified clinicians who utilize resources and therapies to help people be more self-reliant and improve their quality of life. According to the Journal of Psychiatric Services, Evidence-Based Practices operate above and beyond conventional health care, empowering people to change their lives, relationships, and independence.
For example, recovering addicts are encouraged to seek peer and family help, learn their social and environmental causes, and strive to prevent relapse. Community and individual therapy are used in conjunction with detoxification and, in some cases, treatment. Addicts are more concerned with lifestyle changes and behavioural therapy than with detox. Instead of going against the grain, Evidence-Based Practices are built to partner with patients in rehabilitation.
The evidence-based recovery approach aims to help recovering addicts change in all facets of their lives, rather than just addiction. Many abusers often have a mental health problem, and Evidence-Based Practices like Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which addresses both the disorder and the addiction simultaneously, seem to have the most important long-term outcomes.
The Differences Between Evidence-Based Practices and Other Treatments
Traditional therapies rely on the therapist-patient relationship rather than clinical proof of validated procedures. Many physicians tend to apply their years of experience and expertise to newer Evidence-Based Practices rather than the older ones. This approach also combines medicine and psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on the patient’s unconscious processes.
It is commonly thought that traditional therapy is talk therapy. The patient and the therapist establish a rapport, and the therapist tries to uncover any underlying problems relevant to the drug abuse. Traditional counselling services also prescribe medication, which can be successful but may have unintended consequences and side effects. Some contend that Evidence-Based Practice is too generic and lacking in individuality. Others claim that the studies aren’t broad enough and that some cultural or ethnic groups may fall outside the scope.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the medical field’s controversy over science-based and personal experience-based treatments, citing research that shows evidence-based practices perform better and quicker than conventional models, with patients responding to care in 12 to 16 sessions. It is also more cost-effective for the end consumer because it is quicker.
What are Some Popular Therapies that are Not Considered Evidence-Based Practices?
The following are the most widely used non-Evidence-Based Practices mental health and drug abuse treatments:
- 12-Step Programs
- Conversion Therapy
- Talk Therapy
Traditional therapy, also known as talk therapy, is a strongly individualistic therapeutic approach that uses the therapist-patient relationship to uncover latent and conscious problems linked to drug abuse. In some instances, in addition to talk therapy, doctors will prescribe FDA-approved drugs. This is a common and reliable approach to support people with drug abuse and comorbid mental health problems using both Evidence-Based Practices and non-Evidence-Based Practices. Furthermore, 12-step initiatives are an important way to form healthy partnerships with individuals who are still dealing with substance abuse problems.
How Do Drug Rehabilitation Centers Blend EBPS and Non-EBPS for Maximum Effectiveness?
Many who seek rehab with a comorbid mental health disorder must take multiple measures to treat and control their addiction. A medically supervised detox usually is part of the first step of therapy. Patients take part in Evidence-Based Practices to safely extract from the drug. To prevent the harmful effects of withdrawal, they may need FDA-approved maintenance medicines or other prescription and OTC drugs.
Once a patient has safely detoxed from narcotics or alcohol, they must continue treating their substance use problem, as well as any comorbid mental health problems, to preserve their sobriety for the remainder of their lives. Many recovery facilities will mix evidence-based Practice and non-evidence-based Practice at this stage of treatment.
Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, CBT or DBT may be needed. Patients can learn more about their causes and the negative feelings that lead to their drug-use tendencies through talk therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and 12-step programs.
Patients develop a supportive relationship with therapists while learning healthy, efficient, and proven ways to handle their causes and emotions in various therapies. In addition to treatment, patients with a comorbid mental health disorder will need prescription drugs. Medications are called Evidence-Based Practices since the FDA has approved them. Treatment arrangements for follow-up or aftercare are also set in place. These plans are highly personalized to the individual, incorporating evidence-based and non-evidence-based activities. Patients often continue prescription drugs, support groups, and counselling to treat their disease and avoid relapse.
There is no remedy for substance abuse problems or mental health conditions, but they are still not life sentences. Patients can manage adverse mental health and behavioral issues and maintain permanent sobriety from drugs and alcohol with successful, personalized treatment programs that combine the best of both the Evidence-Based Practices and non-evidence-based Practices worlds. There are hundreds of healthy, compassionate, and proven-effective recovery facilities around the country that can assist individuals dealing with drug abuse and mental health issues. Patients have the best chance of success if they combine all treatment strategies.
Overall, many people conclude that incorporating conventional approaches with Evidence-Based Practices would achieve the best results. The best long-term outcomes are thought to be obtained by integrating medical and scientific expertise and study, personal experience, and treating each patient individually. The best health care providers recognize and welcome the fact that medical awareness continues to evolve and develop.
At Foundations Rehabilitation Network, we appreciate the importance of both modern and conventional treatment models. The dual diagnosis model considers each person as a whole person and understands that they need personalized care. Call 615-490-9376 today To learn more about how you or your loved one can be on the road to recovery using Evidence-Based Practices treatment.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.