Health social workers sources of knowledge for decision making in practice

Fiona McDermott, Annabel Henderson, Carol Quayle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents findings from research examining knowledge social workers in a health network in Victoria, Australia identified as informing their decision-making. Data for 13 patients, and in-depth interviews with six social workers who worked with these patients, were studied. A thematic analysis of interviews revealed that participants identified reliance on past experience and contextual/situational information as underpinning their decisions, demonstrating their commitment to person-in-environment perspectives. However, despite the availability of a repository of empirical evidence, no respondent made use of this. This study provided insight into health practitioners’ sources of knowledge, highlighting gaps and areas for further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-808
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2017


  • Education
  • health care
  • hospital social work

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