The organisation of evidence-based practice within the social services - rational, imitating, or rule-following?

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2010
End date: 31/12/2012
Funding: 2100000 SEK


In Sweden, as in many other Western countries, the concrete expression of the theoretical framework that commonly is labelled evidence-based practice (EBP) has shown substantial growth in the last decade and is now the most important trend both witrhin social work and in other professional fields. In 2007, the National Board of Health and Welfare published the first guidelines for alcohol and drug treatment and one year later a Government commission put forward far-reaching suggestions for the establishment and strengthening of EBP as a dominating practice doctrine.

The development towards increasing external pressure to implement EBP has to a certain extent also brought about dissolution of the basic concept (at least outside the scientific community). There seems to be a substantial amount of uncertainty as to what constitutes the content and limits of EBP, which must greatly affect the possibilities of evaluating the consequences of the implementation of EBP
The overall objective of the research programme is to establish a theoretical and empirical platform for an analysis of the efforts to transform social work practice through the implementation of EBP, and through this to provide a solid foundation for a critical discussion of the problems and prospects connected to the ambition of providing a more standardised and scientifically secured practice. By and large, the research programme can be described as built on two pillars, where the first one consists of empirical studies of different aspects. of EBP implementation within the social services, and the second one is focused on exploring alternative strategies (to different versions on EBP) for establishing a scientifically secured knowledge base for social work.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13