Academic Commons


Review of Research Techniques for Clinical Social Workers. By Tony Tripodi and Irwin
Epstein. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980

Mullen, Edward Joseph

Tripodi and Epstein's perspective illustrates the key assumptions in this new
view. Its pragmatic thrust places value on practice that is effective, efficient, and
accountable. A rational, problem-solving process is proposed as the means to
these pragmatic objectives. Intervention is to be based on knowledge obtained
and tested through research methods. To the extent possible, this knowledge
base is to be empirically grounded, objective, eclectic, and open to critical
discussion. And, knowledge-based practice is seen as driven by skepticism as
well as by the ongoing search for new and better methods. From such a perspective
research and practice are seen as not only compatible but fundamentally
Tripodi and Epstein have sought to link research concepts and techniques
with the essentials of clinical practice. Research procedures are presented as
practice tools relevant for obtaining information regarding diagnostic assessment,
treatment implementation, and evaluation. These three phases of the
problem-solving process are seen as reflecting critical areas of decision making
in clinical practice, and the various research techniques presented are viewed as
useful means for informing those decisions. The authors do not attempt an
exhaustive presentation of research methods, but focus on those they consider
easily learned and readily applied. The discussion includes a consideration of
the use of research interviewing, questionnaires, available instruments, systematic
observation, content analysis, client self-monitoring forms, rating scales, survey and time-series designs. Basic techniques of data analysis are considered.
Principles for review of the research literature are discussed, especially from the
perspective of facilitating selection of treatment techniques. The book is organized
into three parts corresponding to each of the three phases of the problem solving
process. The chapters in each part present various research techniques
considered most useful for informing the decisions to be made at that stage.
Each chapter provides principles for implementing the research techniques
under discussion, practice examples, a research exercise, and a brief bibliography.



Also Published In

Social Service Review

More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
University of Chicago Press
Published Here
February 13, 2015