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Questions That Critical Thinking Will Help You Answer

Earlier today we introduced you to Critical Thinking for Helping Professionals: A Skills-Based Workshop, 3rd edition, which is designed to engage readers as active participants in honing their critical thinking skills, mastering a coherent decision-making process, and integrating the evidence-based practice process into their work with clients.  In the excerpt below the authors, Eileen Gambrill and Leonard Gibbs, list some questions that critical thinking and evidence-based practice can help answer.

Types of Questions That May Occur in Your Work with Clients

1. Effectiveness questions concern how effective an intervention might be for a particular client (e.g., “What feedin method(s) will work best for infants born with a cleft lip/palate?”  “What method, if any, will most effectively forestall the onset of Alzheimer’s disease among nursing home residents like those here at Lakeside?”  “Which method is most effective in helping interdisciplinary teams to work effectively?”)

2. Risk/prognosis questions concern the likelihood that a particular person will engage in a particular behavior or experience a certain event in a given period.  For example, “What is the likelihood that a sex offender like Joe will commit a new offense within the two years of his parole?”  “If I place sexually abused siblings in the same adoptive home, how likely is it that they will continue to abuse each other?”

3. Description questions may concern base rate and other descriptive data about clients (estimate of the frequency of a problem in a given population based on a sample of individuals from that population) or what has been found regarding similar clients.  Examples are “What are the most common reasons for readmission to a hospital for aged persons who had been discharged to community support services?”  “What is the base rate of teenage pregnancy in this city?”  “What environmental and personal characteristics are associated with delinquent behavior of teenage boys?”

4. Assessment questions concern descriptions of client’s probles, alternative competing behaviors, and thier contexts.  For example, “What is the most accurate assessment tool to determine pain in the neonate (newborn infant less than six weeks of age)?”  “Is there a reliable, valid measure of depression or substance abuse, or parenting skills that will valuable to my client?”  “What is the quickest, easiest to administer, least obtrusive, and most accurate assessment tool to see whether a client here at Sacred Heart Hospital has an alchohol abuse problem?”  “What is the best instrument to screen for depression among the elderly at Syveresn Lutheran Home?”

5. Prevention questions concern the most effective way to prevent the initial occurrence of a problem or undesirable event, for example, “What is the most effective way to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?”  “What is the most effective way to prevent skin breakdown in the diaper area of newborns having watery stools?”  “What is the most effective way to prevent teenage pregnancy among students at South Middle School?”  “Which is the most effective way to teach kindergarteners and first graders not to wander off with someone not authorized to take the child from school?”…

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7 Responses to “Questions That Critical Thinking Will Help You Answer”
  1. Kathryn Houseman Lobert says:

    RE: #5 There is NO prevention for SIDS!! At this point in time, “prevention” is a word that should NOT be used in conjunction with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! There are possible/probable RISK REDUCERS such as placing babies on their backs to sleep, but that does NOT prevent SIDS. Most of what people consider “SIDS prevention” is SUFFOCATION PREVENTION. Suffocation and SIDS are NOT the same thing. SIDS is not sleep apnea. The really terrible thing about using the word prevention with SIDS is that you dump totally undeserved guilt on families, caregivers, etc, who are already overwhelmed with incredible grief – trust me. Do your research – there is no prediction, prevention, or interruption for SIDS. Since I have become involved with SIDS awareness in 2005, I have met MANY people who followed EVERY RECOMMENDATION and their babies still died. Someday (hopefully sooner rather than later)we will know what happens to cause a child to suddenly die and THEN we will be able to work to find the prevention. There is no cure for SIDS because the first symptom of SIDS is death. You do not have to take my word for all of this information – do your research and then change your wording and support SIDS Awareness. October is SIDS Awareness month, but SIDS happens EVERY DAY.

  2. Kathy Vickers says:

    SIDS isn’t an illness or a disease that you can prevent. You can only reduce the risks. Maybe that’s what whomever wrote this blog meant. Not a good choice of words though.

  3. Tawny Lochner says:

    I would like to reinforce the last post. I can tell you from personal experience laying blame on co-sleeping is not the answer. I have four children and they have all slept with me at one point or another. There is something that makes certain children more susceptible. And to be so blatantly non compassionate as to even attempt to accuse loving parents of doing something wrong is unforgiveable.

  4. Beth Elliott says:

    I would just like to support what the previous comments state – that the use of the word prevent implies that parents of SIDS victims are somehow to blame for their infants’ deaths.

  5. Kammie says:

    There is no prevention. However, you CAN reduce the risks. And there is a HUGE difference in the two. Until we know what causes it, we cannot prevent it. We need to educate people about SIDS, and the ways to reduce risks. There are a good many SIDS information sites, & literature on the subject that our government gives away to whoever asks. I will look up the links & post them here later.

  6. Marta says:

    My son died of SIDS in 2001, and back then the word PREVENT was all over the place regarding SIDS…since then the word reduced is most often used, but to continue to see that word implies to new parents that THEY CAN avoid the death of their baby, and to SIDS parents that they should have avoided the death of their baby. The true links that have been made regarding SIDS like metabolic disorders and the underdeveloped brainstem is what we need to impress upon new parents. Then we can begin to talk about PREVENTION. Until then back sleeping only helps to prevent SUFFOCATION which is absolutely NOT the same thing as SIDS.

  7. Malena says:

    There is NO prevention for SIDS!! At this point in time, “prevention” is a word that should NOT be used in conjunction with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! There are possible/probable RISK REDUCERS such as placing babies on their backs to sleep, but that does NOT prevent SIDS. Most of what people consider “SIDS prevention” is SUFFOCATION PREVENTION. Suffocation and SIDS are NOT the same thing. SIDS is not sleep apnea. The really terrible thing about using the word prevention with SIDS is that you dump totally undeserved guilt on families, caregivers, etc, who are already overwhelmed with incredible grief – trust me. Do your research – there is no prediction, prevention, or interruption for SIDS. Since I have become involved with SIDS awareness in 1989, I have met MANY people who followed EVERY RECOMMENDATION and their babies still died. Someday (hopefully sooner rather than later)we will know what happens to cause a child to suddenly die and THEN we will be able to work to find the prevention. There is no cure for SIDS because the first symptom of SIDS is death. You do not have to take my word for all of this information – do your research and then change your wording and support SIDS Awareness. October is SIDS Awareness month, but SIDS happens EVERY DAY.I can tell you from personal experience laying blame on co-sleeping is not the answer. I have five children and they have all slept with me at one point or another. There is something that makes certain children more susceptible. And to be so blatantly non compassionate as to even attempt to accuse loving parents of doing something wrong is unforgiveable.

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