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Risk reduction technologies in general practice and social work
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
2012 (English)In: Professions & Professionalism, ISSN 1893-1049, E-ISSN 1893-1049, Vol. 2, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

General practitioners (GPs) and social workers (SWs) are professions whose professional autonomy and discretion have changed in the so-called risk and audit society. The aim of this article is to compare GPs’ and SWs’ responses to Evidence-Based and Organizational Risk Reduction Technologies (ERRT and ORRT). It is based on a content analysis of 54 peer-reviewed empirical articles. The results show that both professions held ambivalent positions towards ERRT. The response towards ORRT differed in that GPs were sceptical whilst SWs took a more pragmatic view. Furthermore the results suggest that SWs might experience professional benefits by adopting an adherent approach to the increased dis-semination of risk reduction technologies (RRT). GPs, however, did not seem to experience such benefits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 2, no 2
Keyword [en]
profession, risk, social worker, general practitioner, risk reduction technologies, evidence-based practice/medicine
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-62233DOI: 10.7577/pp.409OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-62233DiVA: diva2:576403
Projects
Hur socialarbetare och allmänläkare använder kunskap i praktiken.
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2012-12-13 Created: 2012-12-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Professionsutövning och kunskapsstyrning: en jämförelse av socialarbetares och allmänläkares klientarbete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professionsutövning och kunskapsstyrning: en jämförelse av socialarbetares och allmänläkares klientarbete
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study whether the Swedish state’s efforts to govern the professional practice of social workers (SWs) by knowledge to achieve an evidence-based practice, address the difficulties that SWs encounter in their practice. The Swedish state’s ambition is to govern the practice of social work by ideas and methods originating from medicine. The thesis therefore compares, through four different studies, the professional practice of SWs with general practitioners (GPs) as the most comparable sub-profession in medicine. The research questions that the thesis seeks to answer are:

  • What situations are perceived as problematic and non-problematic by SWs and GPs?

  • How does the professionals’ relationship with clients affect the performative aspects of these occupations’ enactment of their practice?

  • How do SW and GPs experience the state’s efforts to govern their professional practice by knowledge?

  • What problems can arise when the Swedish state builds its knowledge governance of social work practice on a comparison with medicine, even though these professional fields exhibit a number of important differences?

The empirical material in the first and second studies consists of 52 narratives, written by SWs and GPs on problematic and non-problematic situations. The third study is based on vignette-based focus group interviews with 25 SWs and GPs. And the fourth study is based on a literature review, consisting of 54 articles about SWs’ and GPs’ practice.

A first finding is that professionals rarely describe lack of knowledge or difficulties with knowledge use as problematic. A second finding is that non-problematic situations are connected to professionals’ control of the intervention process. SWs gained control of the relationship with the client either by use of coercive means or by the client’s active co-operation. GPs gained control of the intervention process by the use of professional knowledge. A third finding is that an understanding of professional practice as a linear process consisting of diagnosis, inference and treatment reflects GPs’ practice but not all aspects of SWs’ practice. A fourth finding is that both professions hold ambivalent positions towards evidence-based risk reductions technologies. The responses towards organisational risk reductions technologies differ in that GPs are sceptical, whilst SWs take a more pragmatic view.

A main conclusion is that the Swedish state’s efforts to govern the performative aspects of SWs’ practice by knowledge, runs the risk of becoming a insufficient strategy since they tend to exhibit two main blind spots. The first is that these efforts tend to ignore that the relationship with the client has a crucial affect on and conditions SWs’ and in problematic situations also GPs’ knowledge use. The second is that the efforts also tend to ignore that control of the intervention process is not always maintained through control of knowledge use. For SWs control of the relationship with clients represents another mode of professional control of the intervention process. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 128 p.
Series
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 84
Keyword
Social workers, GPs, performative aspects of professional practice, relationship with clients, welfare state, knowledge governance, EBP
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127145 (URN)978-91-7601-598-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-25, Hörsal B, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Hur använder socialarbetare och allmänläkare kunskap i praktiken?, FAS/FORTE dnr 2009-0251
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, dnr 2009-0251
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2016-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Rexvid, DevinBlom, BjörnEvertsson, LarsForssén, Annika
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