Social Work - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 138
Post-disaster social work research: A scoping review of the evidence for practice
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-04-21)
<jats:p> The aim of this study was to understand the extent, range and nature of social work research activity after natural disasters and to identify the implications for future research and practice. A Scoping review methodology framework was used search of three databases: Web of Science, ProQuest and Informit was conducted to identify relevant studies between 2000 and 2018. Selection of studies was based on empirical research about social work and natural disasters and/or authored by social workers. Study selection found a total of 38 relevant articles. Charting the data was conducted and the following areas of focus were summarised: (1) interventions relating to psychosocial care, aid work and community work; (2) the effects of disasters on people and mediators of these effects; (3) social work education and challenges in disaster relief; and (4) measuring mental health outcomes of people who have experienced a disaster event. This scoping review has established that there is a range of social work literature focused on natural disasters that primarily examines social work interventions, the effects of disasters and social work education. Future social work research and practice needs to focus on the types and timing of interventions that promote positive recovery following natural disasters. </jats:p>
Data on children reentering foster care from kinship guardianship
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2018-06-01)
This article describes a dataset containing information on children exiting to kinship guardianship in California between 2003 and 2010 (N = 18,831). Children and young people in the sample were followed for up to fourteen years. The data presented here show summary statistics of the sample included in the analysis. Furthermore, the data consist of life tables showing counts of children at risk of reentry, counts of children who reentered the foster care system as well as nonparametric estimates of the survival function and the cumulative hazard function for the period 2003-2017.
Beyond Voice: Conceptualizing Children's Agency in Domestic Violence Research Through a Dialogical Lens
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2020-10-14)
<jats:p> Children who live in households where domestic violence is occurring have been variously described in the literature over time as silent witnesses, witnesses, a cohort who is “exposed” to the violence, and more recently, as individual victim survivors and active agents in their own right, each with their own lived experience of violence. </jats:p><jats:p> Research methodologies in this arena have shifted from adult-focused measurements of the impacts of domestic violence on children to more qualitative attempts to understand the experience from the child’s perspective. In doing so, there have been notions of giving “voice to the voiceless” and doing no further harm through a desire to protect children from exposure. However, the relational framing of children’s voices and recognition and enabling of children’s agency is less evolved in research and professional interventions. </jats:p><jats:p> A study undertaken in Australia researched with a primary care population of 23 children and 18 mothers, children’s experiences of safety and resiliency in the context of domestic violence. The findings of the research were realized using qualitative research methods with children and the analytical framing of hermeneutical phenomenology, ethics of care and in particular dialogical ethics, to draw practical understanding and application in health care settings. </jats:p><jats:p> This article aims to demonstrate how the analytical methodology chosen was applied in the research process and reveals the elements required for children to experience agency in navigating their relationships in an unsafe world, while learning about themselves. It draws upon understandings of the child’s relational context and introduces a model of children’s agency, which may have applicability for domestic violence policy and practice settings. </jats:p>
Research ethics in practice: challenges of using digital technology to embed the voices of children and young people within programs for fathers who use domestic violence
(SAGE Publications, 2020-01-01)
<jats:p> There has been growing enthusiasm amongst those who undertake research with children, for the development of participatory and visual research methods. The greater availability and affordability of digital technology (such as digital cameras, tablets and smart phones) has meant that there has been greater scope for digital technology to support participatory research methods, or augment more traditional qualitative research methods. </jats:p><jats:p> While digital technology provides new opportunities for qualitative researchers, they also come with a series of challenges – some of which have been grappled with by those using more traditional research methods but also some which are new. Our study was undertaken in Victoria, Australia, and used a combination of interviews, focus groups and digital storytelling to bring together two strands of work which have historically occurred separately: work with children experiencing domestic violence and programs for men who use domestic violence. While digital storytelling proved to be an effective method of engaging children and young people in the research, a range of challenging ethical issues emerged. Some of these issues were considered as part of the formal ‘procedural ethics’ process, but additional and more challenging issues relating to anonymity and the complex safety considerations of using of the children’s digital stories within programs for men who use violence and dissemination emerged in practice. It is hoped that sharing our experiences and decision-making will contribute to the knowledge base for others considering engaging in sensitive research using digital technology. </jats:p>
A critical interpretive synthesis of the intersection of domestic violence with parental issues of mental health and substance misuse
A critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) methodology was used with the aim of informing practice with children and families when domestic and family violence (DFV) and parental issues relating to alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health (MH) are also present. A CIS is grounded in the literature, but includes questioning of the literature in order to problematise gaps, contradictions and constructions of issues. A review of the literature from 2010 to 2018 was conducted with the structured search strategy identifying 40 relevant research articles. Synthesis and critique of these articles revealed three mutually informative themes through which to understand the literature and how it can inform practice. They were as follows: differences in theoretical approaches and client focus; complexity of system's collaboration; and practices converging on mothers. Taken together, these themes facilitated the development of the synthesising construct: strengthening intersection between DFV, AOD and MH sectors. Attention to practice at multiple levels that responds to the dynamics of gender and the differing impacts of violence was often lacking, particularly in the context of heightened child protection concerns where collaboration between sectors is needed. Both promising and problematic practices relating to gender dynamics and accountability converged on mothers. While there were exceptions, generally, there was an absence of engagement with, and recognition of, the impacts of fathers' patterns of using violence and control on adult and child survivors. Promising practice related to the strengthening of the mother-child relationship and attention to MH and its intersection with domestic violence. Strengthening the intersections between DFV, AOD and MH practices with attention to keeping the perpetrator of violence in view is critical to overcoming the poor practice that can occur when sectors are siloed from each other.
More questions than answers: a focus on reunification for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, in The Family Matters Report 2020
The disproportionate rate of entry into out-of-home care (OOHC) is well documented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth throughout Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2020a; Lewis et al 2019). However, less is known about children and youth who exit out-of-home care by returning to the care of their parents or former carers. This special report reviews the literature, and the publicly available data for 2018-19, about reunification for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and non-Indigenous children in out-of-home care systems. It was found that in 2018-19, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were less likely to have case plans that included reunification as a possibility compared to non-Indigenous children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were also less likely to be reunified with family compared to non-Indigenous children. Reunification rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were highest in Victoria, however, entry to care rates were also highest in Victoria compared to other states and territories. Except for the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia, once reunified, there was no marked difference between rates of re-entry to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children compared to non-Indigenous children. Examination of differences in reunification patterns across states and territories were also limited by the low numbers of children reunified in some states and territories (such as the Northern Territory), as well as absent data from New South Wales and Queensland. Ultimately, questions concerning reunification casework practices across the nation remain, while reunification data from 2018-19 has generated more questions than answers.
Psychosocial impact of undergoing prostate cancer screening for men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
OBJECTIVES: To report the baseline results of a longitudinal psychosocial study that forms part of the IMPACT study, a multi-national investigation of targeted prostate cancer (PCa) screening among men with a known pathogenic germline mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. PARTICPANTS AND METHODS: Men enrolled in the IMPACT study were invited to complete a questionnaire at collaborating sites prior to each annual screening visit. The questionnaire included sociodemographic characteristics and the following measures: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Impact of Event Scale (IES), 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer, Cancer Worry Scale-Revised, risk perception and knowledge. The results of the baseline questionnaire are presented. RESULTS: A total of 432 men completed questionnaires: 98 and 160 had mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, and 174 were controls (familial mutation negative). Participants' perception of PCa risk was influenced by genetic status. Knowledge levels were high and unrelated to genetic status. Mean scores for the HADS and SF-36 were within reported general population norms and mean IES scores were within normal range. IES mean intrusion and avoidance scores were significantly higher in BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers than in controls and were higher in men with increased PCa risk perception. At the multivariate level, risk perception contributed more significantly to variance in IES scores than genetic status. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to report the psychosocial profile of men with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations undergoing PCa screening. No clinically concerning levels of general or cancer-specific distress or poor quality of life were detected in the cohort as a whole. A small subset of participants reported higher levels of distress, suggesting the need for healthcare professionals offering PCa screening to identify these risk factors and offer additional information and support to men seeking PCa screening.
What is the timeliness and extent of health service use of Victorian (Australia) children in the year after entry to out-of-home care? Protocol for a retrospective cohort study using linked administrative data.
Introduction: Children entering out-of-home care have high rates of health needs across all domains of health. To identify these needs early and optimise long-term outcomes, routine health assessment on entry to care is recommended by child health experts and included in policy in many jurisdictions. If effective, this ought to lead to high rates of health service use as needs are addressed. Victoria (Australia) has no state-wide approach to deliver routine health assessments and no data to describe the timing and use of health service visits for children in out-of-home care. This retrospective cohort data linkage study aims to describe the extent and timeliness of health service use by Victorian children (aged 0-12 years) who entered out-of-home care for the first time between 1 April 2010 and 31 December 2015, in the first 12 months of care. Methods and analysis: The sample will be identified in the Victorian Child Protection database. Child and placement variables will be extracted. Linked health databases will provide additional data: six state databases that collate data about hospital admissions, emergency department presentations and attendances at dental, mental and community health services and public hospital outpatients. The federal Medicare Benefits Schedule claims dataset will provide information on visits to general practitioners, specialist physicians (including paediatricians), optometrists, audiologists and dentists. The number, type and timing of visits to different health services will be determined and benchmarked to national standards. Multivariable logistic regression will examine the effects of child and system variables on the odds of timely health visits, and proportional-hazards regression will explore the effects on time to first health visits. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical and data custodian approval has been obtained for this study. Dissemination will include presentation of findings to policy and service stakeholders in addition to scientific papers.
Decision-based models of the implementation of interventions in systems of healthcare: Implementation outcomes and intervention effectiveness in complex service environments
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-10-17)
Implementation is a crucial component for the success of interventions in health service systems, as failure to implement well can have detrimental impacts on the effectiveness of evidence-based practices. Therefore, evaluations conducted in real-world contexts should consider how interventions are implemented and sustained. However, the complexity of healthcare environments poses considerable challenges to the evaluation of interventions and the impact of implementation efforts on the effectiveness of evidence-based practices. In consequence, implementation and intervention effectiveness are often assessed separately in health services research, which prevents the direct investigation of the relationships of implementation components and effectiveness of the intervention. This article describes multilevel decision juncture models based on advances in implementation research and causal inference to study implementation in health service systems. The multilevel decision juncture model is a theory-driven systems approach that integrates structural causal models with frameworks for implementation. This integration enables investigation of interventions and their implementation within a single model that considers the causal links between levels of the system. Using a hypothetical youth mental health intervention inspired by published studies from the health service research and implementation literature, we demonstrate that such theory-based systems models enable investigations of the causal pathways between the implementation outcomes as well as their links to patient outcomes. Results from Monte Carlo simulations also highlight the benefits of structural causal models for covariate selection as consistent estimation requires only the inclusion of a minimal set of covariates. Such models are applicable to real-world context using different study designs, including longitudinal analyses which facilitates the investigation of sustainment of interventions.
Indigenous People's Experiences and Expectations of Health Care Professionals When Accessing Care for Family Violence: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2020-10-07)
Although many Indigenous peoples demonstrate resilience and strength despite the ongoing impact colonization has on their peoples, evidence suggests poor experiences and expectations of health care professionals and access to health care. Health care professionals play an essential role in responding to family violence (FV), yet there is a paucity of evidence detailing Indigenous people's experiences and expectations of health care professionals in the context of FV. Using a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies, this article aims to address the following research question: What are Indigenous people's experiences and expectations of health care professionals when experiencing FV? The inclusion criteria comprised a qualitative study design, Indigenous voices, and a focus on expectations and experiences of health care professionals when FV is experienced. Reviewers independently screened article abstracts, and the findings from included papers were subject to a thematic analysis. Six studies were included in the final meta-synthesis representing studies from Australia, the Americas, and New Zealand. Three themes were identified. Health care professionals need to center the Indigenous person in the care they provide and demonstrate cultural awareness of how history and culture influence an individual's care requirements. Health care professionals also need to ensure they are connecting for trust with the Indigenous person, by slowly developing a rapport, yarning, and investing in the relationship. Finally, Indigenous peoples want their health care professional to work on strengthening safety from culturally inappropriate care, institutional control, and potential lack of confidentiality associated with tight-knit communities.
Reconnecting mothers and children after violence (RECOVER): a feasibility study protocol of child-parent psychotherapy in Australia
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-05-01)
INTRODUCTION: Intimate partner violence detrimentally affects the social and emotional well-being of children and mothers. These two populations are impacted both individually and within the context of their relationship with one another. Child mental health, maternal mental health and the mother-child relationship may be impaired as a consequence. Early intervention to prevent or arrest impaired mother-child attachment and child development is needed. Dyadic or relational mental health interventions that include mothers with their children, such as child-parent psychotherapy, are effective in improving the mental health of both children and mothers and also strengthening their relationship. While child-parent psychotherapy has been trialled overseas in several populations, Australian research on relational interventions for children and women recovering from violence is limited. This study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of implementing child-parent psychotherapy in Australian families. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using a mixed methods, prepost design this feasibility study will examine the acceptability of the intervention to women with preschool aged children (3-5 years, n=15 dyads) and providers, and identify process issues including recruitment, retention and barriers to implementation and sustainability. In addition, intervention efficacy will be assessed using maternal and child health outcomes and functioning, and mother-child attachment measures. Young children's mental health needs are underserviced in Australia. More research is needed to fully understand parenting in the context of intimate partner violence and what works to help women and children recover. If the intervention is found to be feasible, findings will inform future trials and expansion of child-parent psychotherapy in Australia. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval obtained from clinical sites and the La Trobe University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: HEC17-108). Results will be disseminated through conference proceedings and academic publications.
Social factors associated with chronic non-communicable disease and comorbidity with mental health problems in India: a scoping review
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-01-01)
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to examine the existing literature of the major social risk factors which are associated with diabetes, hypertension and the comorbid conditions of depression and anxiety in India. DESIGN: Scoping review. DATA SOURCES: Scopus, Embase, CINAHL Plus, PsycINFO, Web of Science and MEDLINE were searched for through September 2019. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies reporting data on social risk factors for diabetes or hypertension and depression or anxiety in community-based samples of adults from India, published in English in the 10 years to 2019, were included. Studies that did not disaggregate pooled data from other countries were excluded. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Two independent reviewers extracted study aims; methods; sample size and description; demographic, social and behavioural risk factors and a summary of findings from each paper. Risk factors were synthesised into six emergent themes. RESULTS: Ten studies were considered eligible and included in this review. Nine presented cross-sectional data and one was a qualitative case study. Six themes emerged, that is, demographic factors, economic aspects, social networks, life events, health barriers and health risk behaviours. CONCLUSIONS: Literature relating to the major social risk factors associated with diabetes, hypertension and comorbid depression and anxiety in India is sparse. More research is required to better understand the interactions of social context and social risk factors with non-communicable diseases and comorbid mental health problems so as to better inform management of these in the Indian subcontinent.