VCU Libraries

Research Guides

SLWK 313: Person in Society

Finding Interventions


Intervention articles typically include 4 components

  • The POPULATION and/or PROBLEM of interest
  • An INTERVENTION designed to address the problem
  • A way to COMPARE the before and after
  • The OBJECTIVES; the outcomes that are anticipated if the intervention is successful.


When you start searching the literature, keep these questions in mind:


  • What types of interventions have been implemented among populations with this problem? Examples include cognitive therapy, some other type of psychotherapy, or counseling, or some form of client education or skills development...
  • What were the desired outcomes - what was the social worker/ clinician working with this population hoping to change?
  • What were the actual outcomes? Did the intervention and/or specific aspects of the intervention work?  What there a control group as the basis for comparison? For example, was there a wait list? Were clients given a pretest posttest?  Was the intervention part of an intensive case study? What did the authors conclude about the efficacy of the intervention? 
  • How does one type of intervention with this population differ from another intervention? Does one seem more suitable, culturally competent, or effective?

Search terms like these will help you answer these questions:

  • therapy or counseling or treatment or intervention
  • study or research or pretest or control group or case study
  • If necessary, add United States to the search to eliminate irrelevant information

For more targeted results. try searching in the Abstract.

Searching Social Work Abstracts

Attachment disorder