Earlier today we introduced you to Critical Thinking for Helping Professionals: A Skills-Based Workshop, 3rd edition, which is designed to engage readers as active participants in honing their critical thinking skills, mastering a coherent decision-making process, and integrating the evidence-based practice process into their work with clients. In the excerpt below the authors, Eileen Gambrill and Leonard Gibbs, list some questions that critical thinking and evidence-based practice can help answer.
Types of Questions That May Occur in Your Work with Clients
1. Effectiveness questions concern how effective an intervention might be for a particular client (e.g., “What feedin method(s) will work best for infants born with a cleft lip/palate?” “What method, if any, will most effectively forestall the onset of Alzheimer’s disease among nursing home residents like those here at Lakeside?” “Which method is most effective in helping interdisciplinary teams to work effectively?”)
2. Risk/prognosis questions concern the likelihood that a particular person will engage in a particular behavior or experience a certain event in a given period. For example, “What is the likelihood that a sex offender like Joe will commit a new offense within the two years of his parole?” “If I place sexually abused siblings in the same adoptive home, how likely is it that they will continue to abuse each other?”
3. Description questions may concern base rate and other descriptive data about clients (estimate of the frequency of a problem in a given population based on a sample of individuals from that population) or what has been found regarding similar clients. Examples are “What are the most common reasons for readmission to a hospital for aged persons who had been discharged to community support services?” “What is the base rate of teenage pregnancy in this city?” “What environmental and personal characteristics are associated with delinquent behavior of teenage boys?”
4. Assessment questions concern descriptions of client’s probles, alternative competing behaviors, and thier contexts. For example, “What is the most accurate assessment tool to determine pain in the neonate (newborn infant less than six weeks of age)?” “Is there a reliable, valid measure of depression or substance abuse, or parenting skills that will valuable to my client?” “What is the quickest, easiest to administer, least obtrusive, and most accurate assessment tool to see whether a client here at Sacred Heart Hospital has an alchohol abuse problem?” “What is the best instrument to screen for depression among the elderly at Syveresn Lutheran Home?”
5. Prevention questions concern the most effective way to prevent the initial occurrence of a problem or undesirable event, for example, “What is the most effective way to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?” “What is the most effective way to prevent skin breakdown in the diaper area of newborns having watery stools?” “What is the most effective way to prevent teenage pregnancy among students at South Middle School?” “Which is the most effective way to teach kindergarteners and first graders not to wander off with someone not authorized to take the child from school?”…