Systematic Review of Service User and Carer Involvement in Qualifying Social Work Education: A Decade in Retrospect

Selwyn Stanley, Martin Paul Webber

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Service user and carer involvement in social work education is well established in the UK and other countries. There has however been limited research on the outcomes of this for social work practice and its subsequent impact on service users and carers. This has been noted in a previous systematic review involving one of the current authors. The current review aimed to synthesise literature from the previous decade (2011–2020) and follows on from the earlier review. PRISMA scoping review guidelines were followed and twenty-eight papers met the inclusion criteria that were framed. Data were extracted and tabulated according to the framework for the evaluation of educational programmes used in the previous review and analysed using narrative synthesis. A ten-item critical appraisal checklist was used to assess the rigour of all papers. The findings were similar to the earlier review. Most studies were from the UK and few evaluated change in students’ skills or subsequent practice; none evaluated subsequent outcomes for service users and carers. All stakeholders were positive about the perceived benefits of service user and care involvement. Future research needs to use more robust evaluation methodologies and evaluate skills development for students and outcomes for service users and carers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbcac080
Pages (from-to)4871-4893
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
Early online date13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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