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January 2022

Effectiveness of social work intervention research: Internal versus external evaluations

Journal/Book: Soc Work Res. 1996; 20: 750 First St, NE, Ste 700, Washington, DC 20002-4241. Natl Assoc Social Workers. 119-128.

Abstract: This meta-analytic review synthesizes the findings of 88 relent (1990 to 1994) independent studies of the effectiveness of social work interventions and compares the findings of those studies based on authors' assessments of their practice experience (internal evaluations) and other evaluators' assessments (external evaluations). Overall, social work interventions are effective; three-quarters of the clients who participate in social work interventions do better than the average client who does not. Also, the estimated rate of problem improvement among clients who experience on intervention and are assessed by social worker-researchers themselves is nearly 25 percent greater than the estimated rate assessed by other evaluators. Internal evaluations, which arise from workers' day-to-day assessments of their own practice and account for the vast majority of social work's knowledge base, may be thought to precede external ones. However, at some point in the development of knowledge, external evaluation may enhance confidence in the effectiveness of an intervention.

Note: Review Gorey KM, Univ Windsor, Sch Social Work, 401 Sunset Ave, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, CANADA

Keyword(s): bias; effectiveness; evaluation; meta-analysis; social work practice; NURSING-HOME RESIDENTS; FOLLOW-UP; FAMILY PRESERVATION; INTERVIEWING SKILLS; COMMUNITY TREATMENT; BATTERED WOMEN; SUPPORT GROUPS; RELATIVE RISK; SERVICES; PROGRAM


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