Evidence-based practice in clinical psychology: What it is, why it matters; what you need to know

Bonnie Spring*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations


The history and meaning of evidence-based practice (EBP) in the health disciplines was described to the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) training programs. Evidence-based practice designates a process of clinical decision-making that integrates research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences and characteristics. Evidence-based practice is a transdisciplinary, idiographic approach that promotes lifelong learning. Empirically supported treatments (ESTs) are an important component of EBP. but EBP cannot be reduced to ESTs. Psychologists need additional skills to act as creators, synthesizers, and consumers of research evidence, who act within their scope of clinical expertise and engage patients in shared decision-making. Training needs are identified in the areas of clinical trial methodology and reporting, systematic reviews, search strategies, measuring patient preferences, and acquisition of clinical skills to perform ESTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-631
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Behavioral science training
  • Clinical psychology
  • Decision-making
  • Empirically supported treatment
  • Evidence-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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