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Evidence-based practices in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities: An international consensus approach


  • Schalock, Robert L.
  • Verdugo, Miguel Angel
  • Gomez, Laura E.


As evidence-based practices become increasingly advocated for and used in the human services field it is important to integrate issues raised by three perspectives on evidence: empirical-analytical, phenomenological-existential, and post-structural. This article presents and discusses an evidence-based conceptual model and measurement framework that integrates these three perspectives and results in: multiple perspectives on evidence-based practices that involve the individual, the organization, and society; and multiple interpretation guidelines related to the quality, robustness, and relevance of the evidence. The article concludes with a discussion of five issues that need to be addressed in the future conceptualization, measurement and application of evidence-based practices. These five are the need to: expand the concepts of internal and external validity, approach evidence-based practices from a systems perspective, integrate the various perspectives regarding evidence-based practices, develop and evaluate evidence-based practices within the context of best practices, and develop a set of guidelines related to the translation of evidence into practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Schalock, Robert L. & Verdugo, Miguel Angel & Gomez, Laura E., 2011. "Evidence-based practices in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities: An international consensus approach," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 273-282, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:34:y:2011:i:3:p:273-282

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schalock, Robert L. & Bonham, Gordon S. & Verdugo, Miguel A., 2008. "The conceptualization and measurement of quality of life: Implications for program planning and evaluation in the field of intellectual disabilities," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-190, May.
    2. Veerman, Jan W. & van Yperen, Tom A., 2007. "Degrees of freedom and degrees of certainty: A developmental model for the establishment of evidence-based youth care," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 212-221, May.
    3. Chaffin, Mark & Friedrich, Bill, 2004. "Evidence-based treatments in child abuse and neglect," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1097-1113, November.
    4. Chen, Huey T., 2010. "The bottom-up approach to integrative validity: A new perspective for program evaluation," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 205-214, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gómez, Laura E. & Verdugo, Miguel Ángel & Arias, Benito & Navas, Patricia & Schalock, Robert L., 2013. "The development and use of Provider Profiles at the organizational and systems level," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 17-26.
    2. Schalock, Robert L. & Lee, Tim & Verdugo, Miguel & Swart, Kees & Claes, Claudia & van Loon, Jos & Lee, Chun-Shin, 2014. "An evidence-based approach to organization evaluation and change in human service organizations evaluation and program planning," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 110-118.
    3. van Loon, Jos H.M. & Bonham, Gordon S. & Peterson, Dale D. & Schalock, Robert L. & Claes, Claudia & Decramer, Adelien E.M., 2013. "The use of evidence-based outcomes in systems and organizations providing services and supports to persons with intellectual disability," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 80-87.
    4. Claes, Claudia & van Loon, Jos & Vandevelde, Stijn & Schalock, Robert, 2015. "An integrative approach to evidence based practices," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 132-136.


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