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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Facilitated Practice-based Research: bridging the gap between social work research and practice

Deacon, Lesley and Thomason, Paige (2022) Facilitated Practice-based Research: bridging the gap between social work research and practice. In: 6th International Conference on Practice Research in Social Work, 7-9 June 2023, Aalborg, Denmark. (Submitted)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)


This oral paper presents initial findings from an ongoing Action Research Project which aims to understand the problem of why practitioners still experience research anxiety, despite attempts to address this through Practice Research in Social Work.
Utilising Bourdieu's field theory, it is posited that social work students, practitioners and educators have essential research skills and knowledge, but do not possess the symbolic capital to reframe these in the field of social work research and thus are habituated into research anxiety.
This Action Research project questions: how can we bridge the gap between social work research and practice? An empowerment model was developed and tested, collaborating with a local charity, as a potential solution: Facilitated Practice-based Research. This is a research programme conducted in practice, about practice, using practice terminology.
Findings from two focus groups (n=5) participating in this approach suggest practitioners do habituate research anxiety; they can conduct research but name it differently, and their research confidence needs development, through recognising it and beginning to name their work as research.
It is concluded that if research anxiety in practitioners is not addressed by reframing their capital, opportunities could be missed for further embedding research into social work practice.

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More Information

Depositing User: Lesley Deacon


Item ID: 15755

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Lesley Deacon: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2023 13:39
Last Modified: 18 May 2023 09:36


Author: Lesley Deacon ORCID iD
Author: Paige Thomason

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences > Centre for Applied Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Community and Youth Work
Social Sciences > Health and Social Care

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