The Consistencies and Vagaries of the Washington State Inventory of Evidence-Based Practice: The Definition of “Evidence-Based” in a Policy Context

  • Sarah Cusworth Walker
  • Aaron R. Lyon
  • Steve Aos
  • Eric W. Trupin
Original Paper


As states increasingly establish the importance of evidence-based practice through policy and funding mandates, the definition of evidence-based practice can have a significant impact on investment decisions. Not meeting established criteria can mean a loss of funding for established programs and the implementation disruption of programs without a strong research base. Whether the definition of “evidence-based” is influenced by these high stakes contexts is an interesting question that can inform the larger field about the value and utility of evidence-based practice lists/inventories for disseminating knowledge. In this paper we review the development of the Washington State Inventory of Evidence-Based, Research-Based and Promising Practices as a case study for the process of defining evidence-based practice in a policy context. As part of this study we also present a comparison of other well-known evidence-based practice inventories and examine consistencies and differences in the process of identifying and developing program ratings.


Evidence-based practice Inventories Policy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Cusworth Walker
    • 1
  • Aaron R. Lyon
    • 1
  • Steve Aos
    • 2
  • Eric W. Trupin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Washington State Institute for Public PolicyOlympiaUSA

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