Evidence based assessment

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NOTE: The pages in this section are intended for psychologists and people studying to become psychologists. The information is written for a specialist audience. There is no confidential or "secret" information, but it is going to be more technical than pages that were written for a general audience. Hey, don't use this to diagnose yourself!

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[edit]

We have gathered information and resources organized by disorder (rather than general principle of assessment). These bundle together information about base rates, screeners, 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, and they provide the core toolkit that would help apply EBA to a case.

They can can be found here:

Bear in mind that the way they are organized means that it may take several of these to completely assess and address the needs of a client, due to how common comorbidity is in clinical practice.

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.


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:


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  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.