The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era
Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall
Chapter 10: In the name of evidence-based practice: managing social workers through science, standards and transparency
It is possible to order a starter package in evidence-based practice for social work from the Swedish government agency, the National Board of Health and Welfare. The package explains what evidence-based practice means in social work and gives examples of systematic, evidence-based methods that social workers can use in their daily work life. It explains the criteria set out by the National Board of Health and Welfare for what is to be considered evidence-based method. The criteria are based on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is optimal. A ranking of 1 refers to a randomized controlled trial (RCT), and preferably two trials showing the same results. In a randomized controlled trial, participants are randomly assigned to receive either an intervention or control treatment (often standard care services). This allows the effect of the intervention to be studied in groups of people who are: (1) the same at the outset, and (2) treated the same way, except for the intervention(s) being studied. The idea is then that any differences seen in the groups’ outcomes can be attributed to the difference in treatment alone, and not to bias or chance. A ranking of 2 on the scale refers to non-randomized controlled trials with a placebo or untreated control group. A 3 refers to pre- and post-evaluations without a placebo or untreated control group, a 4 to correlation studies, and a 5 to expert opinion.
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