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Talks at Twelve: Irwin Epstein, Thursday, April 25, 2013

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Rediscovering Context: Clinical Data-Mining Findings and the Future of Evidence-informed Practice
Irwin Epstein, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, CUNY

Thursday, April 25, 2013
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Lunch will be served. This event is open to all.

To arrive at best practices, academic proponents of Evidence-based Practice in social work place emphasis on seeking the most robust findings concerning intervention effectiveness. Their strategy in seeking the “best available evidence” involves employing randomized controlled experiments and meta-analyses to maximize effect size. In so doing, contextual effects —i.e., differences in client, worker and organizational characteristics—are systematically negated. Dr. Epstein will review findings derived from quasi-experimental, practitioner-initiated Clinical Data-Mining dissertation studies that suggest that the search for best practices must also take context into account. For this, a more methodologically pluralist Evidence-informed Practice that includes practitioners and available practice data in knowledge production is required.

Irwin Epstein occupies the Helen Rehr Chair in Applied Social Work Research (Health & Mental Health) at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he directs, teaches and supervises dissertation research in the Ph.D. program. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Community Medicine where he provides research consultation and seminars to participants in the International Leadership Enhancement and Exchange Program.

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