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Moving from ’gut feeling’ to ’pure facts’: launching the ASI interview as part of in-service training for social workers.

  • Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed
  • Katarina Jacobsson
Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 5-20
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Nordic Social Work Research
Volym: 2
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

Several standardized assessment instruments have been introduced in social work in the last ten years. One of them, the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), is used today in the Swedish social services, and in the Prison and probation services. Swedish state authorities make strong declarations to implement the ASI-interview while critics are sceptic to both its practical relevance and epistemological grounds. Given this background, the launching of the ASI-interview is important to study as a case of how new instruments (flagged under the banner of EBP) are introduced. How is this rather new innovation introduced to the field of social work? The aim of the article is to analyse how the ASI-interview is presented and taught through in-service training for Swedish social workers. From observations of in-service training sessions, two professional styles seem to surface: a “traditional” and a “new” professional style. The course leader tends to use contrasting dichotomies as resources for constructing these professional styles. For example, “objectivity” and “scientificity” are presented as new professional ideals, rather than common sense or ”gut feeling”, the latter connected to traditional social work. The construction of a new professional style can be seen as an endeavour to achieve professional status in a more classical sense, partly by making the profession and its content more visible, and also by asserting its legitimacy as evidence-based work.


  • Social Work
  • Standardized assessment instruments
  • ASI-interview
  • in-service training
  • evidence-based practice
  • social work
  • gut-feeling


  • Kriminal- och socialvetenskapligt nätverk-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 2156-857X
Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed. Foto: Patrik Hekkala
E-post: elizabeth [dot] martinell_barfoed [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se



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