The core of evidence-based practice (EBP) as advocated for within the practice arms of the health and social sciences is to promote the routine incorporation of the best available research evidence into practice efforts. This requires discipline-specific education that is not only grounded in professional practice but also prepares would-be scientists in the application of the sophisticated techniques that characterize today’s high research standards. Doctoral-level education is an important primer for future scientific endeavors across disciplines. This study examined 2334 theses published across Sweden in public health, criminology, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and sociology during the period 1997–2012. Of the theses reviewed, 13 % aimed to investigate the effects of interventions. The highest percentage of effectiveness studies was found in nursing, public health, and psychology. The percentage of outcome research increased during the period. Controlled studies (with comparison group and pre- and post-test) occurred primarily within public health, nursing, psychiatry, and psychology. Of the 296 theses that included an intervention effectiveness study, 131 (44 %), or 5.6 % of all theses reviewed, met all four assessment criteria for quality. PhD education across seven disciplines in Sweden may be producing a professional core of scientists that is ill prepared to produce the type of research that is necessary to inform practice of the effects of its interventions as exposure to the rigors of quality effectiveness research is all but non-existent. This has implications for the advancement of an evidence-based practice and intervention science more broadly.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2016
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