Evaluating the soundness of practice-based knowledge

Sissel Reichelt har sammen med Jan Skjerve skrevet en artikkel i International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches


The American Psychological Association has formulated a statement on evidence-based psychological practice, suggesting that traditional research represents an insufficient base of knowledge for practitioners, and arguing for a plurality of methods (American Psychological Association, 2006).

A possible source of knowledge is practice-based experience. A set of criteria for evaluating the soundness of practice-derived knowledge were developed and applied to a number of papers without a formal research design accepted by the Norwegian Psychological Association as satisfactory for becoming a specialist in clinical psychology. In this article, the set of criteria is presented and some experiences with the application of them are described. It is argued that knowledge can be derived from systematic reflection on clinical work, presented in a systematic way. Further experience with the criteria is needed before we can judge how general their relevance is for the evaluation of the soundness of practitioner contributions to evidence-based practice.

In its report on evidence-based practice, the American Psychological Association (2006) suggests that research currently fails to meet all of the practical needs for knowledge. Research findings have to be supplemented with systematic clinical observations, 'disciplined inquiry' and the formulation of hypotheses during therapy sessions. The assumption that during clinical practice you need knowledge not currently found in the research literature, implies a need of criteria for the quality of other types of knowledge, such as practice-based knowledge.

This article aims to propose quality criteria that can be used to evaluate whether a given set of clinical experiences constitutes sound knowledge. The criteria are based on current perspectives in clinical literature. To get experience with application of the criteria, they were used to evaluate a selection of papers written by clinical psychologists as part of the requirements to become a specialist in clinical psychology. The findings from the evaluation are described and discussed. Recommendations are given on how to present experiences and analyses more systematically, in order to improve the quality of the presentations.

International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2012, 6 (1), 2-9

Published Sep. 13, 2013 8:00 AM - Last modified Apr. 24, 2020 12:34 PM