Objective: This study examines the quality of evaluation studies using qualitative research methods in the social work literature in terms of a number of criteria commonly adopted in the field of qualitative research.
Method: Using qualitative and evaluation as search terms, relevant qualitative evaluation studies from 1990 to 2003 indexed by Social Work Abstracts were examined, and their quality was evaluated.
Results: The review shows that the quality of published evaluation studies using qualitative research methods in the social work field is not high and that many of the reviewed studies are not sensitive to the following issues: philosophical base of the study, auditability, bias, truth value, consistency, and critical interpretations of the data.
Conclusions: Social workers using findings arising from published evaluation studies using qualitative research methods in social work should be cautious and social workers conducting qualitative evaluation studies should be sensitive to the issue of quality. Adequate training for social workers on qualitative evaluation should also be carried out.
- Evaluative criteria
- Qualitative research
- Social work literature