Trends of Empirical Research in South Korean Mental Health Social Work

In Han Song, Eun Jung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the introduction of evidence-based practice in South Korea, it has gained significant attention for its potential to promote the efficacy of social work services and to integrate knowledge and practice in mental health social work. In order to see how empirical research in South Korean mental health social work has changed, we examined publication trends found with the journal Mental Health and Social Work, analyzing a total of 402 articles published from 1994 to 2013. A content analysis was performed with a focus on research methods and results, and the types of research questions and the designs reported. We found that (1) the number of empirical research articles increased over the past 20 years, (2) research on factors affecting clients’ lives or service outcomes was found to be dominant, and (3) correlational studies were most prevalent. We conclude that while a quantitative basis for mental health social work has increased, the rigor of the research needs to be further developed. Several suggestions are included at the end of this article with an aim to help promote more balanced evidence research and utilization of evidence in the field of mental health social work in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-486
Number of pages9
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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