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Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L.  (2018). Research methods for social workers (8th ed.). New York, NY:  Pearson.
Chapter 1, “Toward Evidence-Based Practice” (pp. 1-23)

Gossett, M., & Weinman, M. L. (2007). Evidence-based practice and social work: An illustration of the steps involved. Health & Social Work32(2), 147–150.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Mutschler, E. (1984). Evaluating practice: A study of research utilization by practitioners. Social Work29(4), 332–337.

Social Work Policy Institute (2013). Why do we need social work research? Retrieved from http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/research

Library Assignment Guide. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/socw6301/week1assignment
Click the link to access a resource page created by the Walden Library that will help you conduct independent research for the Discussion.

 

Discussion 2: Evidence Based Practice

Competent social workers have many types of skills to complement a wide variety of theoretical knowledge. This skill set and knowledge base is often informed by research. Whether research is quantitative, qualitative, or a mixture of both, the information that well-formed studies yield contribute to the knowledge base of the social work profession as a whole.

For this Discussion, consider how evidence-based research informs social work practice. Think about how research findings translate into social work actions.

By Day 4

Post your explanation of how research informs a social worker’s application of the steps in the process of evidence-based practice. Be sure to explain how research contributes to what a social worker may do in practice. Please use the Resources to support your answers.

By Day 6

Respond to a colleague’s post by explaining what might enable or prevent a social worker from applying research findings to his or her practice. Please use the Resources to support your post.

Response one

Diane Sharkey RE: Discussion 2 – Week 1COLLAPSE

How research informs a social worker’s application of the steps in the process of evidence-based practice.

In the social work profession, our goal is to help others. Many times this is done by teaching others how to help themselves. Most research encourages the use of a scientific approach when working with clients to formulate a treatment plan. This includes using the scientific method to create a measurable question for which evidence can be used to arrive at a solution (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018). Likewise, Gossett and Weinman (2007) emphasize the importance of using evidence when developing a course of action or treatment plan with clients. Mutschler (1984) discusses the history of social workers relying on supervisors and other colleagues to inform practice techniques and how that has evolved into the use of empirical evidence from scientific studies. Additionally, Gossett and Weinman (2007) support using research to assess the success and relevance of a treatment should be done prior to use with a client. Social workers must also be aware of current policies and legislation that may hinder the application of certain evidence-based practices, thus making the research irrelevant (Social Work Policy Institute, 2013).

Explain how research contributes to what a social worker may do in practice.

The more research completed on suggested practice the greater its validity, which also increases the likelihood that social workers and other practitioners will use it (Mutschler, 1984). Plus, when using research on evidence-based practice, social workers must work with their clients as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure favorable results (Social Work Policy Institute, 2013). Moreover, Yegidis, Weinbach, and Myers (2018) cite the importance of social workers “evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency…and seek ways to improve our practice” after implementing evidence-based practice with clients (p. 5). Furthermore, social workers must use research to stay competent about the population they serve, for example “about 30 percent of the adult homeless population has an addiction to alcohol or other substances” (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018, p. 11). Therefore, they must apply such knowledge and use it to guide their research and practice when working with individuals in the homeless population.

Response2

Angelica Wiggins RE: Discussion 2 – Week 1COLLAPSE

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services (Social Work Policy Institute, 2010).

When it comes to research and how it informs a social worker’s application of the steps in the process of evidence-based practice, research is vital. This type of research ensures that the treatments and services, when used as intended, will have the most effective outcomes as demonstrated by the research. It will also ensure that programs with proven success will be more widely disseminated and will benefit a greater number of people (Social Work Policy Institute, 2010).

The more research that is done, the more valid the outcome and awareness will be. Numerous resources are emerging to help connect research to practice and provide information that can be helpful to practitioners. Since the term evidence-based practice (EBP) is used in numerous ways, definitions will be provided that can help expand social workers understanding of EBP. resources, and publications will be identified that can be useful to inform practice and guide policymakers (NASW, n.d.).

 

Assignment: Peer Reviewed Social Work Journals

Reflect on the importance of using articles from peer-reviewed journals compared to information from the Internet. Ask yourself who evaluates the accuracy of information that you might obtain websites like Wikipedia and what form of accountability there is to ensuring that information is up-to-date, reliable, and valid.

Review the Final Assignment: Article Review and Critique in Week 10 for this class. Note that you will have to locate an empirical research article from a peer-reviewed journal. Begin to search for an article. Practice navigating the databases in the library by searching topics of interest. (Note: At this point, you do not need to identify the actual empirical research article. The goal of this assignment is to begin getting comfortable navigating the databases in the library).

For this Assignment, complete the following:

  • Identify a list of 10 peer reviewed social work journals from the library that you might find helpful relative to your social work practice interests.
  • In a 100-150 word paragraph, discuss why using research studies from peer reviewed journals is important to the development of knowledge in social work. For example, discuss the advantages of having articles reviewed by other scholars and researchers. Then using a case illustration, describe how articles from peer-reviewed journals can help to inform your social work practice decisions with clients, communities, agencies, and/or social work policies.

 

Assignment: Peer Reviewed Social Work Journals

Reflect on the importance of using articles from peer-reviewed journals compared to information from the Internet. Ask yourself who evaluates the accuracy of information that you might obtain websites like Wikipedia and what form of accountability there is to ensuring that information is up-to-date, reliable, and valid.

Review the Final Assignment: Article Review and Critique in Week 10 for this class. Note that you will have to locate an empirical research article from a peer-reviewed journal. Begin to search for an article. Practice navigating the databases in the library by searching topics of interest. (Note: At this point, you do not need to identify the actual empirical research article. The goal of this assignment is to begin getting comfortable navigating the databases in the library).

For this Assignment, complete the following:

  • Identify a list of 10 peer reviewed social work journals from the library that you might find helpful relative to your social work practice interests.
  • In a 100-150 word paragraph, discuss why using research studies from peer reviewed journals is important to the development of knowledge in social work. For example, discuss the advantages of having articles reviewed by other scholars and researchers. Then using a case illustration, describe how articles from peer-reviewed journals can help to inform your social work practice decisions with clients, communities, agencies, and/or social work policies.