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Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services

Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services

An Introduction for Social Work and Health Professionals

Michael Sheppard

Quick Overview

This accessible introduction provides social work students and practitioners with the knowledge they need both to evaluate research and to apply it to their own practice. Exploring a range of research methodologies, the author discusses the strengths and limitations of each and shows the reader how to identify the assumptions underlying them.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2004, 9.21in x 6.22in / 234mm x 158mm, 256pp
ISBN: 978-1-84310-289-2
£25.00
Ebook
2004, ePUB, 256pp
ISBN: 978-1-84642-065-8
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£25.00

Description

The importance of 'evidence based practice' in health and social work has been emphasised by recent policy and legislative initiatives, but how do professionals decide which research findings are valuable and relevant to them? This accessible introduction provides social work students and practitioners with the knowledge they need both to evaluate research and to apply it to their own practice.

Exploring the range of research methodologies used in health and social care, from randomised control trials to surveys, interviews, experimental designs and ethnographic approaches, Michael Sheppard discusses the strengths and limitations of each and shows the reader how to identify the assumptions underlying them.

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 an individual suffering from mental illness. Each chapter includes exercises and questions to test the reader's understanding of key concepts in each chapter, 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 undergraduates and a useful resource for all trainers, practitioners, service managers and postqualifying students in health and social care.

Reviews

'

At the heart of the book are clear descriptions of a range of methodologies, how these methodologies should be critically appraised and how the practitioner might consider them when wishing to inform his/her work. A useful glossary or key terms is given to dispel some of the myths surrounding research. This perhaps is the strength of the book. In an accessible style, it demystifies research, helping us to make sense of different methodologies in way that we can be surer that research findings inform our practice in a way that is less likely to do harm. I recommend this book. It is a useful introduction.

The key message of the book - a useful reminder for all of us, including journalists - is, first, that you have to look beneath the surface of the findings and understand the nature and quality of the research undertaken.

Not all research is equal. Every intervention has the possibility of doing good, making no difference or doing no harm. At the very least, social and health professionals should try to ensure that they are not harming. This book is aimed at helping those educating and preparing for practice in health and social work to appraise and use social research.

'
- British Journal of Social Work

'Shepard (social work, University of Plymouth) provides social work and health care undergraduate students and practitioners with the knowledge they need to evaluate research and apply it to their own practice. He considers first the process by which research and other forms of knowledge may be used in practice, and then explores the range of research methodologies used in health and social care, from randomized control trials to experimental designs and ethnographic approaches, using realistic case examples. He outlines the strengths and limitations of each and shows readers how to identify the assumptions underlying them.'
- Book News

Authors

By (author): Michael Sheppard