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Intervention Analysis Paper: Evidence-Based Social Work Practice

Intervention Analysis Paper Steps

What's a Literature Review? Here is a nice summary from Purdue OWL.

1. Determine an intervention in use at your field site, or an intervention that could be used there. Consider PICOT: Population, Intervention, Comparison (optional), Outcome, and Time (optional).


2. Systematically search the literature (published evidence in the form of scholarly articles) using the databases suggested on this guide. Primarily you'll use empirical articles, which report on research the authors conducted. See more below about how to identify if an article is empirical.

3. Carefully read the articles & determine what the evidence suggests. Is the intervention effective? Is it more effective for some populations?

4. Cite your sources as you indicate what we know from the published literature about the intervention.

5. Don't be afraid to be critical of your sources. Are sample sizes small? Was the population studied non-diverse? How do these and other limitations (which articles usually list toward the end) influence the applicability of the results?

Find Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles: Suggested Databases

Is it empirical?

Empirical = based on observable evidence. An article is likely empirical IF:

  • It appears in a scholarly/peer-reviewed journal
  • The researchers gathered data
    • Look in: Abstract, Method(ology) section
    • Can be quantitative (most surveys) and/or qualitative (interviews, focus groups)
  • Authors report on an experiment/observation
  • It has these normal sections (may vary):
    • Introduction/Literature Review
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion/Conclusion
    • References

  • NOT empirical:
    • Literature review, even if in scholarly journal (authors only use published sources)
      • Use these to point you to other sources & get topic background!
      • Check with your professor if these are acceptable for the intervention analysis paper.
    • Theoretical article, even if in scholarly journal
    • Essay, even if in scholarly journal

  • Gray area (check with your professor):
    • Scholarly/peer-reviewed article in which authors analyze data someone else collected ("secondary data analysis")
    • Case studies reporting on one or a few particular clients/organizations

Interventions Supported by Evidence

These links provide lists of interventions that are based on research. If you browse by intervention, citations for peer-reviewed articles may be included that you could find & use for your paper.