Evidence-based practice (EBP) promises to have a profound impact on social work practice, education, and scholarship, but adopting EBP depends on the availability and accessibility of evidence and on strategies to synthesize this information. Systematic reviews provide a comprehensive, unbiased method for retrieving and synthesizing relevant research. This pocket guide is a concise introduction that describes the steps required to complete a systematic review and the criteria that can be used to assess the quality of existing reviews. The authors provide straightforward information on how to define a search question that captures the problem's parameters, develop a search strategy that is transparent and comprehensive, assess the quality and credibility of existing research, and summarize the available research to support EBP in social work. Providing coverage for both quantitative and qualitative synthesis methods, examples illustrate the steps and decisions associated with each approach to research synthesis. Key points and suggested readings and websites provide avenues for further study.
This pocket guide is an excellent introduction to EBP and systematic reviews that will be valued by social work students, practitioners, and scholars.