The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Systematic Reviews As a Doctoral Seminar Project: Four Case Examples

Saturday, January 19, 2013: 2:30 PM-4:15 PM
Executive Center 1 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education
Symposium Organizer:
Bruce Thyer, PhD, LCSW, Florida State University
Bruce Thyer, PhD, LCSW, Florida State University
PURPOSE:  Systematic reviews are an important part of the process of evidence based practice (EBP).  In order to effectively be able to use the EBP model social workers much understand the design and conduct of systematic reviews, how to locate credible systematic reviews, and, increasingly, be able participate in such projects.  The involvement of members of our disciplinar in the authoring of systematic reviews is important so that topic directly relevant to the field of social work are the focus of such studies.  METHODS:  As a part of the Ph.D. program within our College of Social Work, all first year students complete a doctoral seminar devoted to the topic of reviewing the importance and role of systematic reviews, how these are conducted, and then, using an abbreviated version of the Campbell Collaboration standards, select a topic and actually complete a systematic review on a topic of interest to the student and relevant to social work practice.  RESULTS:  This seminar in systematic reviews has been offered for four years, and a large number of the reviews completed in the course have gone on to be published in peer reviewed professional journals.  This seminar will present four separate papers which represents work completed by the latest cohort of our doctoral students.  The topics vary widely, and the authors will present not only the findings of their systematic review, but will also describe the elements of the seminar and writing process which they found helped their undertaking these papers, as aspect of the assignment which proved more difficult.   IMPLICATIONS:  The topic of systematic reviews is of increasing importance to the field of social work, hence to doctoral education.  Doctoral students can learn the purpose, design, and coduct of such reviews and successfully complete one within the context of a single semester-long seminar.  The discussant, who has been teaching this seminar for four years, will discuss his experiences as the instructor of this seminar, and offer suggestions on how other faculty can be successful in introducing this topic into their doctoral program.  A syllabus and list of suggested reading will be provided, along with references to over 8 of these systematic reviews which have been published by the doctoral student.
* noted as presenting author
Is Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Effective for Combat-Related PTSD?
Rebekah J. Nelson, MSW, Florida State University
Are Housing First Programs Effective: A Review
Danielle B. Groton, MSW, Florida State University
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