Evidence based assessment

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Evidence-based assessment (EBA) refers to the use of research and theory to guide the choices about what to measure, how to measure it, and what to do next based on the results during a clinical evaluation [1]. Even when using scores from tests that have shown good results psychometrically in similar settings, the assessment process is inherently a decision-making task in which the clinician must iteratively formulate and test hypotheses by integrating data that are often incomplete and inconsistent[1]. EBA has been found to help clinicians in cognitively debiasing their clinical decisions[2].


EBA was first introduced in the field of medicine[3], and has spread to other fields, notably clinical psychology. Recent work has focused on combining concepts from Evidence-based Medicine with the historical strengths of psychological assessment, including emphases on psychometrics, norms, and integration of psychological constructs and cultural factors. The EBA approach is an empirically-driven method to clinical decision-making, and Cochrane reviews have reported the efficacy of EBA methods[4].

Assessment portfolios organized by disorder or issue[edit]

These pages organize information by disorder or topic, much like a chapter in a traditional edited handbook would. These bundle together information about how common the problem might be in different settings (i.e., base rates), risk factors and screening tools, more structured diagnostic interviews, and process and outcome measures for each disorder or condition. The format will match up well with book chapters and review articles that focus on the topic. They provide the core toolkit that would help apply EBA to a case. If we were preparing for an evaluation or intake with someone concerned about anxiety, we would start by reviewing the anxiety disorder portfolio and having copies of the measures for the client to complete.

The portfolios can can be found here:

Because people often have more than one problem (comorbidity) and because it is not always clear what the problem is (differential diagnoses), it may take several of these to completely assess and address the needs of a client.

Measures, interviews, and other tools[edit]

We are gathering together measures and tools that are free to use, and that also have evidence of validity under realistic conditions and settings.

Case Examples and Teaching Vignettes[edit]

We also are working on clinical case examples that illustrate how we apply these ideas and assessments to cases.

Chapters (formatted for citing on Wikipedia and Wikiversity)[edit]

Chapter references for reviews of EBA, organized by disorder or clinical topic, can be found here. Wikipedia prefers reviews and chapters to primary sources for research, so these are helpful when editing pages about particular measures or assessment of clinical issues on Wikipedia pages. If a chapter does not have a unique DOI or PMID, the citation builder widget won't automatically make the citation, so these are here to copy and paste to make adding high quality citations easier.

Other Topics[edit]

These are important topics related to assessment. Several are constructs that have not yet been integrated with clinical assessment. Others are more in depth treatments of how to run the statistics to make more clinically useful effect sizes (e.g., ROC analyses and diagnostic likelihood ratios, or reliable change).

Future possibilities:

Other initiatives:

  • Helping Give Away Psychological Science -- on FaceBook and Wikiversity
  • The Future Directions Forum for the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology -- Wikiversity pages
  • Convention Programming Pages for the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology -- Wikiversity pages


Wikipedia-logo.png Wikipedia has more about this subject: Evidence based assessment
  1. 1.0 1.1 Hunsley, J; Mash, EJ (2007). "Evidence-based assessment.". Annual review of clinical psychology 3: 29-51. PMID 17716047. 
  2. Jenkins, MM; Youngstrom, EA; Washburn, JJ; Youngstrom, JK (April 2011). "Evidence-Based Strategies Improve Assessment of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder by Community Practitioners.". Professional psychology, research and practice 42 (2): 121-129. PMID 21625392. 
  3. Sackett, DL; Rosenberg, WM; Gray, JA; Haynes, RB; Richardson, WS (13 January 1996). "Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't.". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 312 (7023): 71-2. PMID 8555924. 
  4. Stacey, D; Bennett, CL; Barry, MJ; Col, NF; Eden, KB; Holmes-Rovner, M; Llewellyn-Thomas, H; Lyddiatt, A et al. (5 October 2011). "Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decisions.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (10): CD001431. PMID 21975733.