Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services: An Introduction for Social Work and Health Professionals

Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services: An Introduction for Social Work and Health Professionals

Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services: An Introduction for Social Work and Health Professionals

Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services: An Introduction for Social Work and Health Professionals

Synopsis

"Michael Sheppard uses case examples from practice to demonstrate how research messages can be applied in a range of situations, from developing social services for ethnic minority groups to working with a individual suffering from mental illness. Each chapter includes exercises and questions to test the reader's understanding of key concepts, as well as examples of research articles for guided discussion. Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services is both a core textbook for social work and health care undergraduates and a useful resource for all trainers, practitioners, service managers and postqualifying students in health and social care." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The Social Care Institute for Excellence, empowered by government (in the United Kingdom) to disseminate knowledge across the range of social care, has emphasized the importance of ‘evidence based practice, with its emphasis on all research users being able to judge the quality of a piece of research’ (SCIE 2003, p.60). They comment also (on the same page) that ‘critical appraisal [of research] is now routinely taught within academic settings at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and is likely to become a core competency within continuing professional development and elsewhere’. The importance of ‘research mindedness’, of the capacity to appraise critically relevant research and to incorporate research within practice and practice developments, could hardly have been more strongly stated. This is an area of huge importance, as much to health as social care workers.

This is a book aimed at helping those educating and preparing for practice in health and social work (through qualifying and post-qualifying courses) to appraise and use social research. It seeks through this to help create ‘research mindedness’ in practitioners. This fits very much with the concerns that practice be ‘evidence based’ or ‘knowledge based’. In order to do this we need to look at the processes by which practitioners may incorporate findings into their work, as well as the nature of those findings. In relation to the latter, this requires them to understand something about how research is conducted, and how these reflect different approaches and beliefs about knowledge and the social world. In all these respects, the book aims to help develop informed practitioners who feel comfortable with using findings in the knowledge that they understand the nature and limitations of research.

This inevitably involves us looking, in a considerable proportion of the book, at methods. Because of its focus on this area, the book has a . . .

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