How do social work students learn to use research to underpin their practice decisions? How do they learn that research is not an activity unconnected to their professional role and responsibilities, but rather acts as a foundation for their knowledge? By using the examples drawn from evidence-based practice (e.g. what is known to work and what we know about social work processes), the authors deliver a text that will help support students to appraise and then integrate research into both their daily practice decisions and their assignments and assessments. It will do this by defining key concepts like ‘knowledge’ and ‘evidence’ and then look at how these concepts include component parts – from law and legislation to practice knowledge and reflective and critical practice. Case examples are used to illustrate how a clear understanding of these component parts can build to a substantial evidence-base from which to draw upon. Identifying relevant research and appraising its quality are core aspects of the book. Later chapters show students how robust knowledge of evidence-based practice can develop into a clear and confident approach to their workloads and their daily practice dilemmas

Appraising Qualitative Studies

Appraising qualitative studies


This chapter focuses on appraising rigour in qualitative research. It begins by outlining the essential purpose of qualitative research, accessing real-world experiences through data-rich respondents. The core method of most qualitative research – thematic analysis – is described and a brief outline provided on major qualitative research methods, as an essential preliminary to appraising the quality of qualitative research. Major approaches to appraising qualitative research are outlined prior to considering in turn the ten quality appraisal questions as outlined in the QAT-Q: Quality Appraisal Tool: Qualitative studies in Appendix 2. Some more general discussion of the appraisal of research quality that is relevant to qualitative studies can be found in Chapter 5.

The Heart of Qualitative Research: Thematic Analysis

Qualitative research ...

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