4th International Conference on Practice Research
22 - 24 May 2017
Jockey Club Innovation Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

ICPR Master Workshops

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 22 May 2017 (Mondayt)

Time Description
13:30 – 15:00

ICPR Master Workshops 1

Title:Opportunities and Challenges of Conducting Practice Research in Hong Kong
Speaker: Professor Joyce Ma
Abstract: Culturally specific and socially relevant evidence-based practice is crucial to social workers in Chinese societies such as Hong Kong. In view of its significance, this workshop aims to create a learning context for the presenter to share with the participants on her experiences of conducting practice research for Chinese children and adolescents with mental health needs and facilitate mutual learning and mutual exchanges on this area among the participants. Participants of this workshop are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes at the end of the workshop.
(a)      To be informed of the process of developing and implementing practice research;
(b)      To equip with knowledge on the artful use of a quantitative method and a qualitative inquiry in generating knowledge pertinent to social work practice; and
(c)      To understand the opportunities and challenges of launching practice research for children and adolescents with mental health needs in Hong Kong.

The format of my presentation comprises a brief lecture and a group discussion. Opportunities and challenges of carrying out practice research will be identified and critically examined, illustrating with examples that come from the previous research projects. Finally the contributions of practice research in helping will be highlighted and discussed.

ICPR Master Workshops 2

Title: Using Different Evaluation Strategies to Evaluate Youth Programmes: The Case of Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong
Speaker: Professor Daniel Shek
                Dr Cecilia Ma
                Dr Janet Leung
Abstract: In this workshop, the design, implementation and data analyses in different evaluation strategies for evaluating youth programmes are discussed. These include objective outcome evaluation (longitudinal randomised group trial and individual growth curve analyses), subjective outcome evaluation (design and validation of related tools) and qualitative evaluation (use of focus groups). The Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong involving 320 schools (284,400 students and 600,000+ man times) will be used to illustrate the different evaluation strategies. The findings were reported in many international refereed journals including Lancet.

ICPR Master Workshops 3

Title: Publishing Practice Research Journal Articles
Speaker: Professor Bruce Thyer
Abstract: Publishing articles describing the outcomes of social work interventive studies involves a large amount of art as well as science. This workshop will describe how social workers can develop writing skills that will enhance their success in getting their practice research studies published in quality journals.  Contemporary best practices in publishing articles will also be reviewed, including pre-registering study protocols, reporting effect sizes and confidence intervals, adhering to Journal Article Reporting Standards as prepared by the American Psychological Association, and the use of reporting guidelines such as CONSORT for reporting randomised trials, STROBE for reporting quasi-experimental studies, and PRIMSA for reporting meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

ICPR Master Workshops 4

Title: The Joy and Anguish of Conducting Practice Research on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Speaker: Professor Daniel Wong
Abstract: Evidence-based practice is becoming highly valued by practitioners, academics and the funding bodies. However, conducting practice research is no easy task and some practitioners and academics find the process rather daunting.  In the past five years, Professor Daniel Fu Keung Wong and his team have obtained funding for more than 15 practice research projects on the application of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for different client groups such as problem gamblers, cancer patients, and adolescents with anxiety problems (General Research Fund); youth with drug addictions (Beat Drug Fund); and parents with children with disabilities and caregivers with family members suffering from mental illness (Social Welfare Development Fund).  In this consultation workshop, Professor Wong will share his joy, sweat and anguish in writing proposals and conducting practice research.  It is hoped that the participants can contribute their experiences and ideas for the further advancement of practice research locally and overseas.   

ICPR Master Workshops 5

Title:Scaling Up: How to Maximise the Impact of Practice Research on Policy
Speaker: Mr John Young
Abstract: Governments, research councils and development research donors are increasingly concerned to maximise the usefulness and use of research. ODI’s Research and Policy in Development Programme has doing researching advisory work and capacity development on this for over 15 years. In this workshop, John Young will present some of the results of that work and introduce some of the tools and approaches RAPID has developed including the ROMA guide to policy engagement and policy influence. Participants will also be invited to share some of their own experiences, and will have the chance to try out some of the simpler tools on aspects of their own research.

ICPR Master Workshops 6

Title: Translational Research: Exemplars of Programmes of Studies according to the Medical Research Council’s Framework 
Speaker: Professor Alice Yuen-Loke

Abstract: The Medical Research Council’s framework is proposed to be adopted for developing and evaluating complex interventions for target populations that require our attention. Three steps are to be taken: (1) identifying the evidence base, (2) identifying/developing a conceptual framework; and (3) developing and testing the intervention programme. The acceptability, feasibility, and the preliminary effect of the intervention programme are to be tested and established, before such interventions could be included as part and parcel of the service provided to the target populations. In this workshop, the researcher will share her experience in taking the steps recommended by the MRC framework in developing the intervention and outcomes evaluation


23 May 2017 (Tuesday)

Time Description
14:00 – 15:30

ICPR Master Workshops 7

Title: Linking Practice Research Processes with Agency Practices
Speaker: Professor Michael Austin
Abstract: This workshop is designed for practitioners interested in promoting practice research in their agencies in collaboration with a local university faculty member. The range of activities will include establishing a link officer, constructing structured literature reviews, framing manageable research questions, and mapping the research process from beginning to end. Particular attention will be given to dissemination and utilisation with respect to the use of relevant findings and modifying agency practices.

ICPR Master Workshops 8

Title: Design and Research on Holistic and Integrative Practice - Steps and Processes in Model Building
Speaker: Professor Cecilia Chan
                Dr Bobo Lau
Abstract: With the trend of moving into integrative practice from the conventional single modality intervention, there is a need to generate standard procedures in protocol setting, standardisation, formulation of assessment tools and model building in practice-based evidence. This workshop will empower practitioners interested in holistic and integrative practice to experience the steps and process of model building from a practitioner-research perspective.

ICPR Master Workshops 9

Title: Building ‘Evidence-Informed’ Practice Through Practice-based Research: An Empowering Workshop for Social Work Practitioner-Researchers
Speaker: Professor Irwin Epstein
Abstract: Practice-based research (PBR) is research in practice rather than research on practice. Its purpose is to inform practice decision-making with evidence drawn from practice. Unlike Evidence-based Practice, PBR studies include a diversity of research strategies. They can be qualitative, quantitative or “mixed method”.  They may use original data, available data or both.  Conducted by practitioners alone or with academic researchers, they may include service recipients in the research process. This workshop describes selected PBR strategies and how they may be employed at multiple levels, in multiple settings.  It is intended to empower participants to engage in research for practice purposes.

ICPR Master Workshops 10

Title: Practice Research in Action
Speaker: Professor Mike Fisher
Abstract: This workshop will provide an opportunity to participate in the design and conduct of a practice research study. Using a case study of counselling services to older adults, the workshop will use the principles of practice research to explore issues in negotiating access, agreeing study design, collaborative analysis and troubleshooting.
The workshop will draw on the definition of practice research as: Practice research originates in the concerns of practice and develops practice–based solutions. It uses a collaborative, developmental approach that respects the knowledge held by practitioners and engages practitioners in the research process.

ICPR Master Workshops 11

Title: Conducting Randomised Controlled Trials in Programme Evaluation With Frontline Service Providers: Examples Of Parent Training Programmes
Speaker: Professor Cynthia Leung
Abstract: The workshop will explore issues involved in conducting randomised controlled trials within frontline services such as ethical considerations, resource implication, recruitment, dealing with control group clients, and data management, using examples from evaluation of parent training programmes. Strategies such as choice of research design, choice of outcome measures, randomisation, data entry, and data analysis methods will also be discussed. Experiences involving collaboration between academic institutions and frontline service providers will be shared.

ICPR Master Workshops 12

Title: Designing and Undertaking Practice Research
Speaker: Professor Martin Webber
Abstract: It is important for practice research to be methodologically rigorous to be accepted for publication and to be taken seriously by practitioners. This workshop will explore how practice research can be both robust and relevant. We will explore some examples of successful social work practice research projects where practitioners have used a variety of different methods to answer practice-based questions. These will include studies using experimental, cohort, case-control, cross-sectional and qualitative designs. Following this we will discuss delegates’ own practice research projects – either underway or in planning – and use the group as a whole to provide feedback to support their development.

ICPR Master Workshops 13

Title:Blowing in Thin Air: How to Measure the Impact of Practice Research on Policy
Speaker: Mr John Young
Abstract: Governments, research councils and development research donors are also increasingly concerned to measure the impact of the research that they fund. But assessing the impact of research is not easy. A major stream of work in ODI’s Research and Policy in Development Programme focuses on this issue. RAPID staff have undertaken a wide range of evaluations of research impact, and have published a wide range of publications on how to do it including how to design a monitoring and evaluation framework for a policy research project. In this workshop, John Young will present some of RAPID’s approaches, and participants will have the chance to try out some of the approaches on aspects of their own research and/or identify how to build monitoring and evaluation into their own projects and programmes.


24 May 2017 (Wednesday)

Time Description
14:00 – 15:30

ICPR Master Workshops 14

Title: Briefing for Plenary Participants
Speaker: Professor Mike Fisher
Abstract: This workshop will be used to prepare contributions to the plenary summary session by participants identified by Master Workshop leaders.

ICPR Master Workshops 15

Title: Developing Partnerships in Practice Research: The Joys and Frustrations of Relation Research
Speaker: Professor Christa Fouche'
Abstract: This workshop will provide an opportunity for practitioners and researchers to consider the benefits and responsibilities associated with relationship-based practice research. Participants will be encouraged to assess how they implement the research process and create structures for engagement, collaborative action and learning, and research mentoring that can make a difference in practice or potentially do harm. Four levels of engagement and the transforming potential of each will be highlighted: networking, coordinating, cooperating and collaborating. The degree of time involved, commitment, risk, interdependence, power and trust, and willingness to share territory will be considered through the use of practice examples, activities and group discussion.

ICPR Master Workshops 16

Title: Practice Research with Ageing Adults: Perspectives and Issues
Speaker: Professor Daniel Lai
Abstract: Countries across the world are experiencing rapid population ageing, and ageing adults face a range of changes associated with physical, psychological, cognitive, social, cultural, and economic wellbeing. In order to inform appropriate and targeted policy and practice interventions intended to support the wellbeing of ageing adults, there is a need for research approaches that explore the specific experiences of ageing adults as well as engaging ageing adults in the research process and ensuring they benefit from such engagement. Practice research approaches aim to incorporate practice into methodologies and outputs, which contributes to enhanced research knowledge as well as the wellbeing and empowerment of ageing participants. This workshop will address issues and consideration related to engaging ageing adults in practice research, and of individual and structural barriers to engaging of ageing adults in the process. It will also discuss the relevance of various specific practice research models for engaging ageing adults in collaborative knowledge generation and outputs. The workshop will conclude with an overview of future directions for practice research with ageing adults.

ICPR Master Workshops 17

Title:Practice-based Research in the Field of Rehabilitation: From Laboratory to Clinical Practice
Speaker: Professor Cecilia Li
Abstract: Rehabilitation professionals advocate the importance of evidence-based practice (EBP) which focuses a lot on lab-based experimental design, randomisation, use of control group, blinded assessors. However, in real life practice, there are various confounding factors arise during the course of the study which were hard to control, thus resulting in reduction of the statistical significance and level of evidence. The concept of practice-based research (PBR) is to inform practice decision-making with evidence drawn from practice rather than from the laboratory experiments.
The 512 Wenchuan earthquake has caused thousands of deaths and for those survived, had to cope with the lifelong disabilities both physically and mentally. Rehabilitation for these quake survivors remains challenging as there were inadequate manpower and resources to serve the huge demands from these survivors, not to mention whether the practice is evidence-based from the scientific perspective. The adoption of practice-based research has successfully and economically resolved the problems of insufficient manpower and resources. Survivors managed to get adequate rehabilitation services through experiences gained through practice and feedback from service recipients. This presentation will focus on the sharing of this practice based research work in 2015.

ICPR Master Workshops 18

Title: Practitioner Research: A Workshop
Speaker: Professor Ian Shaw
Abstract: The aim of this workshop is to provide opportunity for participants to engage with two questions. First, what do we know about the forms that are taken by practitioner research (by which I mean simply research where practitioners in social work and social care hold a central role in planning, delivery and application)? Second, what do we understand regarding the experience of doing research as a practitioner? I will draw on two research projects. The workshop tasks will be to consider and respond to two different forms of empirical evidence and come to shared judgements about the two central questions.

ICPR Master Workshops 19

Title: Conducting Practice Research Using Single System Research Designs
Speaker: Professor Bruce Thyer
Abstract: The workshop will provide an overview of the historical origins of Single System Research Designs (SSRDs) outside of the field of social work and of their introduction to our field over 50 years ago. The presenter will describe the fundamentals of SSRDs, and illustrate their actual use in clinical and macro practice, drawing upon his own published work and that of others, focusing on the social work literature.  Real life examples will be used, initially reflecting simple designs, and then moving on to more sophisticated studies permitting legitimate causal inferences.  Suggestions on how to successfully write up SSRDs for publication will be provided, as will handouts describing internet resources useful in learning how to create the graphs needed to display SSRD data. The limitations of this approach to practice evaluation will be discussed, and how some of these limitations may be overcome.  Attention will be given to the ethical application of SSRDs.

ICPR Master Workshops 20

Title: Developing and Evaluating Social Interventions
Speaker: Professor Martin Webber
Abstract: The development and evaluation of social interventions requires considerable practice knowledge and diverse research methods. This workshop will explore the methods used in three studies to develop, evaluate and implement a social intervention which supports people with mental health problems to enhance their social networks (the Connecting People Intervention). Although developed in the UK, the intervention model has also been adapted for use in contrasting socio-economic and cultural contexts. We will discuss the processes involved in adapting and piloting this intervention in Sierra Leone and Nepal. Finally, we will provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss their own practice research on social interventions.