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Toward Evidence-Based Practice

Variations on a Theme

Joel Fischer

Publication Date - 01 July 2009

ISBN: 9780190616212

566 pages
5.8 x 8.8 inches


Toward Evidence-Based Practice: Variations on a Theme is an insightful collection of previously published articles by one of social work's most controversial figures, Joel Fischer, a long time advocate of research and research-based practices. In this book, which includes his groundbreaking 1973 article, "Is casework effective?" and ending with excerpts of his most recent "Reflections," Fischer offers insight on the field of social work and the struggle toward evidence-based practice and empirically supported interventions.


  • Includes 24 readings covering the past 40 years of social work research and practice, allowing students and practitioners to trace the development of the field toward evidence-based practices
  • Incorporates new introductory comments by the author that tie the original issues of the articles to contemporary concerns
  • Written in a lively, passionate, and accessible style
  • Utilizes figures, tables, and charts to enhance the readers' understanding of research-based interventions

About the Author(s)

Joel Fischer (PhD, University of California, Berkeley; MSW, University of Illinois, Chicago; DSW, University of California, Berkeley) is professor at the University of Hawaii. He has been visiting professor and delivered lectures and workshops in the United States, Canada, The Republic of South Africa, Hong Kong, Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico, and France. Professor Fischer has published 30 books and some 150 articles, reviews and papers on topics including human sexuality, social work evaluation, and social work practice.

Table of Contents

    Forward by Kevin Corcoran
    Is Casework Effective? A Review
    Part 1. The 1970's: Foundations
    1. Introduction
    2. A Framework of Analysis and Comparison of Clinical Theories of Induced Change
    3. Introducing New Technology Into Social Agencies: The Case of Behavior Modification
    4. Do Social Workers Understand Research?
    5. An Eclectic Base for Practice
    6. Building Research into Practice
    7. Does Anything Work?
    Part 2. The 1980's: Building on Foundations
    8. Research and Knowledge-Building: The Case for Research Reviews
    9. Increasing the Relevance of Research Education
    10. New and Emerging Methods of Direct Practice: The Revolution in Social Work
    11. A Framework for Evaluating Empirical Research Reports
    12. Measurement of Client Problems for Improved Practice
    13. Eclectic Casework
    14. Statistical Training for Social Workers
    15. Meta-Analysis: The Premise, the Promise, the Problems
    Part 3. The 1990's: Connecting the Past with the Future
    16. What Ever Happened to Eclecticism? An Analysis of Psychotherapy Integration, the Latest Psychotherapeutic Fad
    17. Empirically-Based Practice: The End of an Ideology?
    18. Uniformity Myths in Eclectic and Integrative Psychotherapy
    Part 4. The 21st Century: Toward Evidence-Based Practice
    19. An Eclectic Approach for Persons with Substance-Related Disorders
    20. Use of Computers in Evaluation and Practice
    21. Evidence-Based Practice