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Title: ICT-supported social work interventions with youth : a critical review
Authors: Chan, C 
Keywords: Social work
Social work research
Youth work
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Journal of social work, 1468017316651997 (Published online before print 31 May, 2016) How to cite?
Journal: Journal of social work 
Abstract: Summary: In youth social work, the trend of using various forms of information and communication technology (ICT) is increasing. However, evidence showing in what ways ICT has enhanced intervention effectiveness is loosely organized. This study conducted a systematic review of ICT-supported social work interventions with youth, targeting peer-reviewed articles in 64 social work journals published between 2000 and 2014. The included studies (N = 13) were analysed with particular reference to their level of evidence, internal validity and approach to evaluating the role of ICT.
Findings: All the included studies presented positive outcomes: 54% of them provided level-I evidence (RCTs), 15% provided level-II evidence (case–control trials without randomization) and 31% provided level-III evidence (case reports). All of them were of ‘good’ or ‘fair’ quality in terms of their internal validity. However, there were only three studies which could provide direct evidence indicating that interventions using ICT were more effective than interventions without using ICT. Most of the remainder provided indirect evidence suggesting that the use of ICT might be associated with positive intervention outcomes.
Applications: These studies provide useful insights that help advance social work knowledge. Yet there is room for improvement in the conceptualization of ICT, and in research designs for evaluating the role of ICT.
ISSN: 1468-0173
EISSN: 1741-296X
DOI: 10.1177/1468017316651997
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