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Walking the tightrope-perspectives on local politicians' role in implementing a national social care policy on evidence-based practice
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4771-8349
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2016 (English)In: International Journal of Mental Health Systems, ISSN 1752-4458, E-ISSN 1752-4458, Vol. 10, no 1, article id 75Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Despite national policy recommending evidence-based practice (EBP), its application in social care has been limited. While local politicians can affect the process, little is known about their knowledge, attitudes and roles regarding EBP. The aim here is twofold: to explore the role of local politicians in the implementation of EBP in social care from both their own and a management perspective; and to examine factors politicians perceive as affecting their decisions and actions concerning the implementation of EBP policy. Methods: Local politicians (N=13) and managers (N=22) in social care were interviewed. Qualitative thematic analysis with both inductive and deductive codes was used. Results: Politicians were rather uninformed regarding EBP and national policy. The factors limiting their actions were, beside the lack of awareness, lack of ability to question existing working methods, and a need for support in the steering of EBP. Thus, personal interest played a significant part in what role the politicians assumed. This resulted in some politicians taking a more active role in steering EBP while others were not involved. From the managers' perspective, a more active steering by politicians was desired. Setting budget and objectives, as well as active follow-up of work processes and outcomes, were identified as means to affect the implementation of EBP. However, the politicians seemed unaware of the facilitating effects of these actions. Conclusions: Local politicians had a possibility to facilitate the implementation of EBP, but their role was unclear. Personal interest played a big part in determining what role was taken. The results imply that social care politicians might need support in the development of their steering of EBP. Moving the responsibility for EBP facilitation upwards in the political structure could be an important step in developing EBP in social care. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central Ltd. , 2016. Vol. 10, no 1, article id 75
Keywords [en]
Community, Evidence-based practice, Local politicians, Policy, Social care
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45666DOI: 10.1186/s13033-016-0107-1Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85006761865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-45666DiVA, id: diva2:1364925
Available from: 2019-10-23 Created: 2019-10-23 Last updated: 2019-10-23Bibliographically approved

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von Thiele Schwarz, Ulrica

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