Journal Article

Getting to the Heart of Recovery: Methods for Studying Recovery and their Implications for Evidence-Based Practice

Victoria Stanhope and Phyllis Solomon

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 38, issue 5, pages 885-899
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl377
Getting to the Heart of Recovery: Methods for Studying Recovery and their Implications for Evidence-Based Practice

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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.

Keywords: Mental health; recovery; evidence based practice; methodology

Journal Article.  6747 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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