Getting to the heart of recovery: Methods for studying recovery and their implications for evidence-based practice

Victoria Stanhope, Phyllis Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The mental health recovery movement in the USA has reaffirmed the vital role that human processes play in service delivery and the ways in which social workers collaborate with clients to bring about change. However, social interaction between social workers and their clients continues to be an understudied aspect of interventions. Recovery places an emphasis on therapeutic relationships, demanding that providers collaborate closely with each consumer to discover their unique path to healing. As a result, researchers must also reorient their focus from the structure of services to the processes that take place during service delivery. The authors examine how process has been studied within the context of services for people with mental health problems, how process relates to outcomes and some of the methodological issues related to studying social interaction. Qualitative methods are recommended to enhance micro-level study of complex human processes within their social context. The authors consider the implications for evidence-based practice and argue that a broader understanding of evidence, which takes into account the role of process, is needed in order to ensure that research is relevant to social work practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-899
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Evidence based practice
  • Mental health
  • Methodology
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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