Practitioner attitudes toward evidence-based practice: Themes and challenges

Timothy D. Nelson, Ric G. Steele, Jennifer A. Mize

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


The widespread successful implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) into community mental health settings will require a thorough understanding of practitioner attitudes toward these approaches. This study reports on the results of two community mental health practitioner focus groups investigating attitudes toward EBPs, perceived challenges to implementing EBPs, and recommendations for researchers interested in facilitating EBP use in community settings. The participants were child and adolescent mental health professionals (N=19) from two community mental health centers. The focus groups were taped, transcribed and coded for themes. Major themes included concerns regarding the applicability of some research supporting EBPs, a desire for a greater emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, and the need for flexibility within treatment protocols. Themes are discussed within the context of the recent movement toward implementing EBPs in community settings and recent research related to focus group themes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-409
Number of pages12
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Community mental health centers
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Focus groups
  • Practitioner attitudes
  • Qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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