Monday, August 25, 2008

Evaluation Research: A New Take

So, I had a conversation with the Chair of my Dissertation Committee today (and yes, she does deserve capitalization!). She and I were discussing our evaluation research class, and the inclusion of the blog. We were looking at the blog and reviewing the objectives of the class, and an epiphany occurred . . . I have set this blog up all wrong . . . like any good Chair, she let me come to this conclusion myself . . . therefore, I have switched things around a bit.

Now, I will be posting articles and news stories that relate to evaluating evaluative research. If you guys look at the powerpoint on Evidence Based Practice, you will notice that one of the last steps in this process is a practitioner learning to evaluate reserach that is relevant to their practice. Therefore, I have switched some verbage in the blog, and now feel like I have a better grip on things.

Check back for updated posts upon which you can comment!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Practical Realities of Evidence Based Practice

I wanted to write a quick post demonstrating how often the concept of evidence based practice is explored in the literature . . . even when it is not referred to as evidence based practice. The reality is, any time you see an article that refers to the effectiveness of a certain intervention, program, or agency, you are reading about evidence based practice. Simply put, evidence based practice is applying research to intervention, program, agency, etc in an attempt to examine whether or not what is being done is actually working.

Think about it, how many of you have worked at an agency, or even a store in the mall, when you were told what to do without any explanation as to why you are doing it, or how what you are doing is benefitting the desired end result. . . probably not very often. However, with the advent of the concept of evidence based practice, research is providing the practitioner the ability to examine the hows, whens, wheres, and whys of what they are doing. Check out the following links to read some examples.

Evaluating Therapeuting Effectiveness in Counseling and Psychotherapy

The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy on changing eating disorder symptoms and psychopathology of 32 anorexia nervosa patients at hospital discharge and one year follow-up.

Behavior Modification in the Treatment of Obesity

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome Budding Researchers!

So . . . if you are reading this blog, you are most likely enrolled in Evaluative Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama . . . Or . . . you are one of the many people all over the planet who have subscribed and make this blog a part of your daily reading . . . :) Either way . . . Welcome to the wild, wild world of Social Work Research!

This blog will feature articles, news stories, etc. that will attempt to bring research off of the text book page and into real life. You see, those of you who are social work practitioners or quite frankly anyone who exists in day to day life, already utilize the skills we will discuss in this class . . . we're just going name these skills with researchy labels and discuss the research process.

We are going to try and bring this topic to life a bit by discussing research in terms of practical application and evidence based practice. If they are not already, these two concepts will be branded into your brain. The concepts of practical application and evidence based practice are key because they are what allow us to transform the academic experience of research into the real life experience of research.

So, check back in on a regular basis and I'll try to come up with creative ways to bring this stuff to life!

Oh, by the way, check the map and live feed to the right of the postings . . . that map will show you the people around the world that are viewing our site . . . TRANSLATION: People all over the world will be reading your comments . . . that's kind of cool !