Using Methodological Search Filters to Facilitate Evidence-Based Social Work Practice

Aron Shlonsky, Tobi Michelle Baker, Esme Fuller-Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The process of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires clinical social workers to conduct systematic searches of academic databases in order to ascertain current best evidence and integrate this with client preferences/values and clinical state/circumstances. Yet social workers are often pressed for time, and searches for evidence disregarded as too time-consuming to conduct. There is hope. Searches of the literature can be more easily and quickly facilitated through the use of methodological search filters. This study introduces a new methodological search filter created especially for social care and evaluates the extent to which this and four other filters accurately and efficiently identify known social care effectiveness studies in two major scholarly databases (Psycinfo and Medline). Sensitivity, specificity, and a new metric for establishing efficiency (the AVALANCHE INDEX) are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-399
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Evidence-based practice
  • Methodological search filters
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

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