driving force behind effective social work practice H u m a n i t i e s

driving force behind effective social work practice H u m a n i t i e s

Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting how statistical significance can be used in his or her research and practice. Consider practical issues such as whether a social worker is looking for a treatment approach that might be more effective than what he or she has been using, whether the participants in the study are similar or different from the client the social worker is treating, or decisions about whether to continue a program. Please use the Learning Resources to support your answer.

Colleague: Ahkura

Statistical significance and clinical significance

Researchers use inferential statistical results to determine the mathematical probability that the apparent relationship between or among variables that can be seen in the research data is the work of sampling error or chance (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018). Doing this helps researchers draw conclusions concerning the effectiveness of different treatment methods. This is called statistical significance and though is not failproof in proving relatability in variables, that there was not sampling error, that a threat to internal validity did not cause the relationship, or that the relationship between variables is necessarily strong or meaningful it is still used by researchers to summarize findings of various studies (Yegidis et al. 2018). With clinical significance, social workers should be working to reduce the symptoms and looking at the impact of treatments and research on clinical studies. Or in clinical practice, the “clinical significance” of a result is dependent on its implications on existing practice-treatment effect size being one of the most important factors that drives treatment decisions (Ranganathan, Pramesh, & Buyse, 2015). Clinical significance should be the driving force behind effective social work practice. Social workers should always seek to provide the best treatment possible with this being their number one goal.


Ranganathan, P., Pramesh, C. S., & Buyse, M. (2015). Common pitfalls in statistical analysis: Clinical versus statistical significance. Perspectives in clinical research, 6(3), 169–170. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-3485.159943

Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L. (2018). Research methods for social work. In Ethical issues in research. (8th ed. 71-99). Pearson.