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Social work and the Cochrane Collaboration: Qualitative interviews with Cochrane contributors of social work background

Date and Location

Session: 

P3.077

Date

Sunday 22 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00

Location

Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Lindsay Shepard

Contact person

Lindsay Shepard
Abstract text
Background: The relationship between the Cochrane Collaboration and social work has never been formally discussed in published literature, potentially undermining the goals of both organizations. Objectives: In commemoration of the Cochrane Collaboration’s 20th anniversary, this study explores the historical and potential relationship of social work and the Cochrane Collaboration through semi-structured qualitative interviews with Cochrane contributors of social work background. Methods: Cochrane contributors of social work background were invited through purposive and snowball sampling to participate in a semi-structured interview that explored the relationship of social work and the Cochrane Collaboration. Informed consent was secured for each of seven participants. Interviews took approximately one hour and were conducted in person or via the Web. Participant interviews have been recorded, transcribed, and explored using thematic content analysis. Results: Member checking pending, a preliminary analysis of seven interviews indicates no formal link between social work and the Cochrane Collaboration. Participants provided multiple rationales for their participation in Cochrane, but generally noted a shared value of evidence-based practice. Participants identified social work as having an informal presence in Cochrane through cross-over of relevant content, objectives, and contributors. Furthermore, participants described social work as largely relevant to Cochrane through a common interest in supporting evidence-based decision-making. Participants identified some barriers to the Cochrane and social work relationship, including conflicting research traditions, lack of resources, and a research-to-practice disconnect. Finally, a few participants suggested that it might be beneficial to discuss formally organizing social work within Cochrane. Conclusions: Social work and the Cochrane Collaboration appear to have some common goals, values, methodologies, and contributors, indicating the significance of formally considering the relevance and potential collaboration of the two groups. Ultimately, it is recommended that this research inform such directed discussions within both social work and the Cochrane Collaboration.
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