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Assessment in Evidence-Based Practice: Psychometric Properties, Clinical Utility and Professional Co-operation from Different Perspectives of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Research in Disability and Habilitation.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the present thesis was to explore and compare professional co-operation in child welfare investigations, explore the psychometric properties, and describe the clinical utility from different perspectives of a translated Swedish version of the standardized assessment instrument the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (the HOME Inventory). Social workers in Sweden, Denmark, Britain, Germany, and Texas (USA) co-operated with different professionals around a fictitious child welfare case. Differences were found between and within country-based samples, indicating an unsystematic work procedure in the social work agencies studied. The psychometric properties of the translated Early Childhood version (EC-HOME) and Middle Childhood version (MC-HOME) of the HOME Inventory were explored in terms of inter-observer reliability and by Rasch analysis. The samples were authentic Swedish child welfare cases recruited from a field setting. Inter-observer reliability was satisfactory. Results were ambiguous regarding measurement construction of the two versions studied. Because of the differentiating ability of the EC-HOME and MC-HOME, total scores could provide an indication of inadequate home environments. Experiences of social work practitioners of the clinical utility of the HOME Inventory suggested that they considered the instrument to be comprehensive and have explicit potential benefits, i.e. to be clinically useful. Correspondingly, caregivers’ overall perceptions of the HOME Inventory were positive, determining the content relevant and the format acceptable. However, certain flaws have to be rectified before the HOME Inventory is to be implemented and used successfully. Further, education and the possibility to practice administering the instrument seemed to be essential conditions for future use according to social workers. When social workers and teachers’ apprehensions about support and stimulation provided by caregivers to children in their home environments were compared, preschool teachers’ apprehensions correlated poorly with the social workers’ assessment. These results suggest that the HOME Inventory is promising but cultural adaptation and further studies of psychometric properties are necessary. Different forms of support to practitioners and agencies for successful implementation are required. Awareness of the type of information provided by different sources is important when co-operating in child welfare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 93 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 907
Keyword [en]
HOME Inventory, Social work assessment, Assessment instruments, Clinical utility, Evidence-based practice, Psychometric properties, Professional co-operation
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198281ISBN: 978-91-554-8682-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198281DiVA: diva2:617875
Public defence
2013-06-14, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-05-24 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2013-08-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Co-operation in a child welfare case: a comparative cross-national vignette study.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-operation in a child welfare case: a comparative cross-national vignette study.
2006 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 9, no 2, 223-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to explore how social workers co-operate around a case where a four-year-old child is exposed to hardship or abuse in the family. The empirical data were collected using a vignette technique in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the state of Texas (USA) and Britain. The data show that it is common to discuss, as well as work jointly, with others in an obviously serious child welfare case, and that different professional expertise is involved. Discussions of a case are generally held within the agency rather than with external specialists. Moreover, there is a positive relationship between the severity of the case and the degree of collaborative working. The data show that there are differences in the answers between the countries under study. One cause contributing to differences might be variation in organisation of the social services in the countries. Another explanation could be the extent to which legislation affects co-operation at the single case level. To be able to establish regular co-operation between different agencies, it seems to be important that co-operation is integrated in the process of the practice in social work.

Keyword
Child protection, social work practice, vignette method, collaboration, co-operation
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109640 (URN)10.1080/13691450600723187 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-21 Created: 2009-10-21 Last updated: 2017-12-12
2. Psychometric Properties of the HOME Inventory Using Rasch Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychometric Properties of the HOME Inventory Using Rasch Analysis
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Research on social work practice, ISSN 1049-7315, E-ISSN 1552-7581, Vol. 24, no 2, 235-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives

The aim of this pilot study was to explore psychometric properties of two versions of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory in a Swedish social service sample.

Method

Social workers employed at 22 Swedish child protections agencies participated in the data collection. Both classic test theory approaches and Rasch analysis were used. Seventy-five (46 double) protocols of the Early Childhood version and 65 (43 double) protocols of the Middle Childhood version were obtained.

Results

The interobserver reliability and Rasch reliability displayed acceptable results. Targeting was satisfying for the middle and more adequate home environments. However, there were mixed results concerning model fit.

Conclusion

The scores may be used to identify families with inadequate home environments where children may be at risk.                 

Keyword
HOME Inventory, social work assessment, Rasch analysis, psychometric evaluation
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198270 (URN)10.1177/1049731513493518 (DOI)000331464900007 ()
Available from: 2013-04-11 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Social work practitioners' experience of the clinical utility of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social work practitioners' experience of the clinical utility of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory
2012 (English)In: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1356-7500, E-ISSN 1365-2206, Vol. 17, no 1, 23-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Clinical utility of an assessment instrument can provide importantinformation about the potential value of that instrument when used inpractice. The aim of this study was to describe social work practitioners’experiences of the clinical utility of a Swedish version of theHome Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME)Inventory. Because knowledge of clinical utility in this area is scarce,a qualitative method based on semi-structured interviews was used togain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. Data were collectedthrough 16 interviews and then analysed by qualitative manifestcontent analysis.The analysis yielded five categories: improves qualityof child protection investigations, supports practitioners, HOME hasdrawbacks and difficulties, certain issues are important for futureapplications and basic conditions are crucial. The findings supportedthe clinical utility of the HOME Inventory though some critical issueshave to be addressed, especially concerning the category basic conditionsare crucial. A thorough education, the possibility to practiceactivities related to the administration of the method and supportfrom management were found to be essential. Replication and furtherstudies are needed in the Swedish context to confirm the applicabilityof the HOME Inventory.

Keyword
clinical utility, HOME Inventory, interview study, qualitative content analysis, social work assessment, social work practice
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-151937 (URN)10.1111/j.1365-2206.2011.00769.x (DOI)000298918400003 ()
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
4. Social worker and teacher apprehension of children’s stimulation and support in the home environment and caregiver perception of the HOME Inventory in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social worker and teacher apprehension of children’s stimulation and support in the home environment and caregiver perception of the HOME Inventory in Sweden
2014 (English)In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 44, no 8, 2218-2236 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assessment tools are needed for the operationalisation of child protection guidelines and frameworks. The HOME Inventory taps into three domains that are often highlighted in guidelines: parenting capacity; the child’s developmental needs; and, family and environmental factors. Social workers are obliged to collaborate in child protection investigations, for example with teachers. This collaboration can be an important source of information since whether or not social workers always perform home visits is unclear. The primary aim of this study was to compare social workers’ and teachers’ apprehensions of the support and stimuli provided in children’s home environments. Social workers’ apprehensions were assessed using the subscales of the Home Observation and Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory. Teachers’ apprehensions were assessed using a different, but comparable, questionnaire. The preschool teachers’ apprehension showed a weak association with the social workers’ assessments.  Hence, it is important for social workers to reflect upon the type of information different professions may provide. This study also describes caregivers’ perception of the HOME Inventory. Such information, although rarely published, is central to the successful implementation of assessment tools. Caregivers were highly satisfied with the HOME Inventory: they considered the content relevant and the format acceptable.

Keyword
Assessment, client perception, HOME Inventory, social work practice, teacher rating
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198268 (URN)10.1093/bjsw/bct075 (DOI)000346050900010 ()
Available from: 2013-04-11 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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