Conferência “Practice-based evidence as a cornerstone for learning health systems in the delivery of psychological therapies”

19 Abril 2024 - 12:00h

Sala de Atos

Ispa – Instituto Universitário

No próximo dia 19 de abril, às 12h, na sala de Atos do Ispa – Instituto Universitário, Michael Barkham protagoniza uma conferência reveladora intitulada “Practice-based evidence as a cornerstone for learning health systems in the delivery of psychological therapies”. Este evento, que se enquadra no Ciclo de Conferências do Ispa, destaca-se por desafiar a tradição dos ensaios clínicos, propondo a prática baseada em evidências não apenas como complementar, mas como essencial na transformação de serviços de terapia psicológica convencionais em sistemas de saúde que aprendem e evoluem. Barkham promete uma análise profunda sobre como a integração da investigação na prática clínica pode gerar cuidados de saúde mais eficazes e personalizados.

Entrada livre.

Set against the longstanding view of the primacy of clinical trials, practice-based evidence is a complementary approach to conducting research that is presented as an all-encompassing research paradigm within which can be embedded most, if not all, other research designs. Moreover, it will be argued, using illustrative data from large practice-based research studies and pragmatic randomized controlled trials, that practice-based evidence is the cornerstone by which a standard psychological therapy service or clinic can transform itself into a learning health system, where “evidence is both generated and applied as a natural product of the care process.”

The key hallmarks of practice-based evidence will be set out, including the use of sessional outcome measures (i.e., routine outcome monitoring [ROM]), a recognition of the contribution of the therapist (i.e., therapist effects), the naturally hierarchically nested nature of psychological therapies data (i.e., using multilevel modelling), as well as predicting and modeling treatment responses that focus on what is best for any specific patient (i.e., personalizing therapy).

But there is a need to move on from seeing these two paradigms as being only complementary and progress towards their integration, as well as enabling everyday services to move towards generating their own reliable source of evidence. It is proposed that the route to achieving both these aims is to adopt the notion of embeddedness in which services embed routine outcome measurement as standard and then trials are embedded in these routine practice settings. In these ways, there is a vision of delivering an evidence-base that integrates both research paradigms but is also rooted in everyday practice by delivering locally-relevant and actionable data with which to improve the quality of care for patients.


Michael Barkham is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Psychotherapy Evaluation and Research Lab @ Sheffield (PEARLS). He has been conducting research into the psychological therapies for 40 years with a particular focus on depression, the development of patient outcome measures, and the promotion of a paradigm of practice-based evidence as a complement to trials-based methodologies. He has published >250 scientific articles and >50 book chapters. He was the 2019 recipient of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) Senior Distinguished Research Career Award, the 2022 MB Shapiro award from the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology, and is the lead editor of the 50th anniversary (7e) of Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (2021).

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