Critical Thinking in Health & Social Care is designed to equip practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to critically examine practice in their own workplace. The book presents a range of different approaches, each of which is explained and grounded in practice using case studies, problem-solving scenarios and workplace examples. The practical tools which form the core of the book are contextualised by an exploration of what constitutes knowledge and evidence and the types of assumptions which are commonly held and which have a bearing on practice.

The Nature of Evidence

The nature of evidence
PeterDraper and LizSmith

This chapter explores the nature of evidence and addresses different ways of understanding its role in health and social care. The chapter begins with a description of the privileged position that ‘evidence’ is given in contemporary health and social care, particularly in the context of the ‘evidence based practice’ movement. It then outlines certain key concepts associated with scientific ways of thinking, including empiricism, induction, deduction, falsification and positivism. Next, limitations of the scientific approach are discussed, drawing on the work of philosophers Dilthey and Gadamer. Throughout the chapter, debates about the nature and usefulness of different types of evidence are related to underpinning philosophical perspectives, and debates about the nature of evidence are linked to ...

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