Exploring mental healthcare provider attitudes towards evidence-based practice in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in South Africa
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Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the responsive process of making clinical decisions on behalf of the individual patient based on the best available research evidence, the clinician's expertise, as well as the context and characteristics of the patient. As stipulated in the 2011 scope of practice for the Psychology Profession (Government Gazette, 2011), offering evidence-based interventions to people with psychological and psychiatric conditions has become a legal requirement in South Africa. However, the adoption of EBP within the profession of Psychology has been slow, which has raised concerns. Related to this, numerous barriers have been identified as hindering the adoption of EBP in the field of Psychology, central among these being mental healthcare provider attitudes. The current study focused on investigating mental healthcare providers' attitudes to EBP in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in South Africa and utilised a cross-sectional, descriptive, survey design using two self-reporting online questionnaires, namely the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS) and a demographic questionnaire. Participants included registered clinical and counselling psychologists, social workers, and counsellors in South Africa and were recruited from various websites through purposive sampling. Findings indicated that participants generally held positive attitudes towards EBP in the treatment of PTSD and demographic characteristics, specifically age and race, had a significant impact on participants' attitudes toward EBP. Ethical approval was obtained by the Senate Higher Degrees Committee of the University of the Western Cape.