The steps at the heart of single-system (subject) research are part of the everyday practice of social work. Each day social workers implement interventions to meet clients’ needs and monitor results. However, conducting proper single-system (subject) research entails far more than these simple day-to-day practices. Proper single-system research requires a high degree of knowledge and commitment. Social workers must fully understand the purpose of single-system (subject) research and the variations of single-system (subject) design. They must develop a hypothesis based upon research and select the right design for testing it. They must ensure the reliability and validity of the data to be collected and know how to properly analyze and evaluate that data. This assignment asks you to rise to the challenge of creating a proposal for a single-subject research study.
To prepare for this Assignment, imagine that you are the social worker assigned to work with Paula Cortez (see the case study, “Social Work Research: Single Subject” in this week’s resources). After an initial assessment of her social, medical, and psychiatric problems, you develop a plan for intervention. You also develop a plan to monitor progress in your work with her using measures that can be evaluated in a single-system research design. As a scholar practitioner, you rely on research to help plan your intervention and your evaluation plan.
Complete the Cortez Family interactive media in this week’s resources. Conduct a literature search related to the chronic issues related to HIV/AIDS and bipolar mental disorder. Search for additional research related to assessing outcomes and theoretical frameworks appropriate for this client. For example, your search could include terms such as motivational interviewing and outcomes and goal-oriented practice and outcomes. You might also look at the NREPP database identified in Week 1, to search for interventions related to mental health and physical health.
Include a description of:
- The problem(s) that are the focus of treatment
- The intervention approach, including length of time, so that it can be replicated
- A summary of the literature that you reviewed that led you to select this intervention approach
- The purpose for conducting a single-system (subject) research evaluation
- The measures for evaluating the outcomes and observing change including:
- Evidence from your literature search about the nature of the measures
- The validity and reliability of the measures
- How baseline measures will be obtained
- How often follow-up measures will be administered
- The criteria that you would use to determine whether the intervention is effective
- How the periodic measurements could assist you in your ongoing work with Paula