Opinions about evidence: A study of social workers' attitudes towards evidence-based practice

Journal article


Gray, Mel, Joy, Elyssa, Plath, Debbie and Webb, Stephen A.. (2014). Opinions about evidence: A study of social workers' attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Journal of Social Work. 14(1), pp. 23 - 40. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017313475555
AuthorsGray, Mel, Joy, Elyssa, Plath, Debbie and Webb, Stephen A.
Abstract

Summary: This article reports on a large survey of Australian social workers regarding their attitudes to evidence-based practice and thoughts on the factors affecting its implementation in human service organisations. Findings: Findings from a national survey of Australian social workers found a degree of support for evidence-based practice with the majority of respondents reporting changes in practice due to the influence of research. A sample size of 364 social workers formed the basis of the final analysis. Both the support for evidence-based practice and the reported changes in practice due to new evidence was highest among social workers in management positions and those with between 10 and 30 years is needed post-qualifying practice experience. The survey also found, however, an unsophisticated understanding of evidence and evidence-based practice and ‘inadequate’ skills in the critical appraisal of research. Applications: Despite the level of support for evidence-based practice, responses to open-ended questions reflected reservations about the formalisation, relevance, useability, and applicability of the EBP agenda among social workers. Given that the issues relating to the transfer of research to practice appear far more complex than EBP suggests, this study sought to understand the complex dynamics of the research transfer process in social work and the human services.

Keywordssocial work; evidence-based practice; implementation; evidence; barriers
Year2014
JournalJournal of Social Work
Journal citation14 (1), pp. 23 - 40
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
ISSN1468-0173
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017313475555
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84892430391
Page range23 - 40
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/86q2x/opinions-about-evidence-a-study-of-social-workers-attitudes-towards-evidence-based-practice

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