Evidence-Based Practice: The Psychology of EBP Implementation

Posted: 6 Jan 2016

See all articles by Denise M. Rousseau

Denise M. Rousseau

Carnegie Mellon University

Brian Gunia

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Date Written: January 2016


Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach used in numerous professions that focuses attention on evidence quality in decision making and action. We review research on EBP implementation, identifying critical underlying psychological factors facilitating and impeding its use. In describing EBP and the forms of evidence it employs, we highlight the challenges individuals face in appraising evidence quality, particularly that of their personal experience. We next describe critical EBP competencies and the challenges underlying their acquisition: foundational competencies of critical thinking and domain knowledge, and functional competencies such as question formulation, evidence search and appraisal, and outcome evaluation. We then review research on EBP implementation across diverse fields from medicine to management and organize findings around three key contributors to EBP: practitioner ability, motivation, and opportunity to practice (AMO). Throughout, important links between psychology and EBP are highlighted, along with the contributions psychological research can make to further EBP development and implementation.

Suggested Citation

Rousseau, Denise M. and Gunia, Brian, Evidence-Based Practice: The Psychology of EBP Implementation (January 2016). Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 67, pp. 667-692, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-122414-033336

Denise M. Rousseau (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Brian Gunia

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

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