Assessing social work’s contribution to controlled outcome studies in the alcohol dependence treatment literature

Michael G. Vaughn, Matthew O. Howard, Jeffrey M. Jenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol use disorders are among the most prevalent and disabling conditions encountered by social work practitioners. Although a substantial body of research findings has accrued evaluating the effectiveness of available alcohol dependence treatments, few efforts have been made to assess the contribution that social work has made to this database. Thus, this study examined the contribution of social work to the alcohol dependence treatment outcome research literature over the past half-century. Controlled investigations of alcohol dependence treatments published between 1950 and 2000 were analyzed by publication outlet type and primary author’s professional affiliation. Computerized bibliographic searches of medical and social science databases were conducted and a manual search of 13 core social work journals to identify controlled studies of alcohol dependence interventions. Results indicate that researchers affiliated with schools or departments of social work as well as studies contained within core social work journals have contributed little to knowledge development, with respect to controlled studies, in the alcohol dependence treatment literature. Greater social work involvement in chemical dependency research would contribute much to current efforts to promote evidence-based practice and clinical guideline development in this important practice area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec 8

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation


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