EVIDENCE-BASED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE RESEARCH CLUSTER

Evidence in practice provides policy makers, practitioners and service users with confidence in the quality of care to be received by the service users. As a social work department with a strong team of practice-focused academics and teachers, this cluster aims to promote evidence-based research and practice by creating a platform for academics, policy makers, practitioners, students and service users to:

(1) Exchange ideas about developing and researching evidence-based models of clinical practice that will provide the best model of care for the people concerned,

(2) Facilitate human service agencies to learn and implement evidence-based models of practice through staff training and supervision,

(3) Develop innovative practice teaching pedagogy

(4) Develop state-of-the-art methods and strategies for conducting practice research

(5) Impart evidenced-informed knowledge to improve the health and mental health statuses of the general public.

Our team attracts funding from academic and non-academic sources such as General Research Fund, Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Fund, Jockey Club Charities Trust, Beat Drugs Fund, Social Welfare Development Fund and UBS Optimus Foundation for evidence-based practice research on innovative projects concerning children, adolescents and adults with health-related issues such as cancer, eczema, dementia; and end-of life care; and with mental health-related issues such as drug addiction, depression, anxiety and special education needs. We have been experimenting indigenous and culturally adapted models of intervention including Body-Mind-Spirit Approach, Cognitive-Behaviour Approach, Intervention Approaches in End-Of-Life-Care, Mindfulness Approach and Affirmative Cognitive-Behaviour Approach and etc. Our team of colleagues have built strong and solid collaborative relationships with international and local academics; and with colleagues of local health and social service organizations in fostering the development of evidence-based practices. The outcome evaluation of these and previous projects has been published in top-tier academic journals such as Psycho-oncology, Cancer, Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Death Studies, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Palliative Medicine, Human Reproduction etc. Over a hundred knowledge exchange workshops and talks have been organized in the past three years for health and mental health professionals and service users in Hong Kong and worldwide (e.g. Australia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, USA). Some projects involve renowned overseas and local collaborators and with research data collected in multiple sites, locally and internationally.

Under the governance of this research cluster, we have also established an Evidence-Based Social Work Practice Centre @SWSA HKU. This centre aims at providing a clinical practice platform for colleagues to develop and experiment their innovative social work intervention approaches in improving the wellbeing of the general public. Through the interventions, we also hope to collect evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches. Specifically, the centre has the following objectives:

  • Provide consultancy services for professionals in the application of certain innovative intervention approaches and techniques in improving the wellbeing of people concerned
  • Render intervention services in the form of individual and group counselling, talks and workshops for the general public
  • Provide clinical training for students at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels in social work and related fields
  • Conduct training for professionals in the social service and health care sectors

For details of activity, please refer to regular updates in the website for upcoming events and demonstration. Please also contact Dr. Lucia Liu at lucialiu@hku.hk on fee charging issues of various services

Expert team

Name Area of Practice in Social Work
Prof. Cecilia Chan
Prof. Chan L.W. Ceci Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit Social Work (IBMS), empowerment interventions, self-help groups, advocacy and macro practice Read More
Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia Integrative Body-mind-spirit Intervention, Fertility and infertility counseling Read More
Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy Bereavement Care (Individual and Group; natural and traumatic death, including suicide), End-of-Life Care, Psychosocial Intervention for persons with Dementia, Life and death education for persons with intellectual disabilities, Health Social Work, Emotional competence of social workers Read More
Dr. Choi W.M. Anna Dr. Choi W.M. Anna Risk assessment and Crisis intervention, Culture and gender-specific, Family mediation Read More
Dr. Chu S.M. Kurtee Dr. Chu S.M. Kurtee Suicide crisis intervention, psychiatric rehabilitation Read More
Dr. Chung L.P. Catherine Dr. Chung L.P. Catherine Satir Model, Family reconstruction, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Emotion focused therapy, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Read More
Dr. Huang Yu-te Dr. Huang Yu-te Youth and adolescent mental health, well-being among sexual minorities, cultural diversity, epistemological competence Read More
Dr. Law M.F. Ben Dr. Law M.F. Ben Volunteerism, positive youth development, group work and family with youth. Read More
Dr. Law Y.W. Frances Dr. Law Y.W. Frances Service utilization and pathway to care, Suicide and deliberate self-harm patients, Community-based mental health Read More
Dr. Lu Shuang Bella Dr. Lu Shuang Non-profit capacity building, child psychosocial and behavioural development, school-based mindfulness intervention Read More
Dr. Ng S.M. Dr. Ng S.M. Culture and mental health, mindfulness and spirituality, impacts of psychosocial factors on course of schizophrenia. Read More
Prof. Wong, F.K. Daniel Prof. Wong, F.K. Daniel (Convenor) Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), prevention and intervention in mental health, migration and mental health Read More


Overseas collaborators and experts

Name Institution Expertise Collaborated Projects/Activities
Dr. Jerry Floersch Rutgers University School of Social Work Polyvagal theory, psychotherapy Research on college student psychiatric medication narratives (U.S.)
Dr. Chien-Chung Huang Rutgers University School of Social Work, Human Research Center Child well-being, cross-cultural research Mindfulness-based intervention with migrant children (China)
Prof. Louise Harms University of Melbourne Traumatology and medical social work
Prof. Alun Jackson and
Dr. Vicki Dowling
University of Melbourne and Deakin University Evidence-based practice in CBT on problem gamblers GRF project on CBT for Chinese problem gamblers
Prof. Phillip Kendall Temple University Evidence-based practice in CBT on children and youth mental health problems GRF project on CBT for Chinese youth with anxieties (Adapted Coping Cat Model)
Dr. Mo Yee Lee The Ohio State University Child mental health, Intervention research, Integrative Family and Systems Treatment (I-FAST), Solution-focused brief treatment, Integrative body-mind-spirit social work practice Co-editor of the book "Integrated Body-Mind-Spirit Social Work – An empirically based approach to assessment and treatment".
Prof. Robert Neimeyer University of Memphis Bereavement
Prof. Brennan Peterson Chapman University, USA Marriage and Family Therapy, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Infertility Past collaborations: Cross-cultural survey on childbearing intentions in 2015.

Ongoing collaborations: An online survey on knowledge and attitudes about fertility awareness and preservation among Obstetrics and Gynaecology (OB/GYN) trainees in the Asia Pacific region

Upcoming collaborations: Effects of couple-based integrative body-mind- spirit (IBMS) interventions and yoga training for reducing anxiety and fostering dyadic adjustment in couples undergoing their first IVF treatment.
Dr. Juan Rios Seton Hall University CBT, mindfulness practice Mindfulness intervention with immigrant Latino students (U.S.)
Prof. Bruce Thyer University of Florida Evidence-based social work practice  


Representative projects

PI/Co-Investigator Project Title Funding Source Amount(HKD) Practice Innovations Awarded Year
Co-I: Prof. Chan L.W. Ceci Lung Cancer Project Research grants council-GRF $900,000 Patient and family caregiver intervention of CBT and IBMS 2015
PI: Prof. Chan L.W. Ceci Insomnia and Depression Innovative research $2M Serving persons with insomnia and depression with IBMS and qigong
PI: Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia;
Co-I: Prof. Chan L.W. Ceci
Seeing the Invisible – Holistic Empowerment Program for Children with Eczema: Enhancing Quality of Life of Parents and their Children with Eczema through Integrated Body-Mind-Spirit Program UBS Optimus Foundation $3.97M IBMS intervention applied with children with skin conditions Parallel parent-child intervention protocol 2017
PI: Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia Effectiveness of a Self-administrated Integrated Body-mind-spirit Intervention in Reducing Women's Anxiety During the IVF Waiting Period: A randomized Controlled Trial Research grants council-GRF $623,292 Self-administered anxiety reducing intervention for women undergoing IVF 2015
PI: Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia Cultivating Compassion for Adolescents through Meaning-focused Experiential Learning Practice Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Fund $199,454 A meaning-focused program for adolescents to promote compassion and better mental well-being in times of emotional turmoil 2016
PI: Dr. Choi W.M. Anna To Explore the Path of Chinese Women's Use of Force in Intimate Relationships: Motives, Acts and Outcomes Research grants council-GRF $548,500 Implication on the development of service for women who use force in intimate relationship 2015
PI: Dr. Choi W.M. Anna An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Po Leung Kuk Child-visitation Service and the Development of a Local Child-visitation Model Po Leung Kuk, Hong Kong $250,000 Develop a local child-visitation model for family with violence history 2015
PI: Dr. Choi W.M. Anna An Evaluation of the Trauma Recovery Group Model for Abused Women in Refuge Centers in Hong Kong Po Leung Kuk, Hong Kong Non-funded Research Projects Develop a local trauma recovery group model for abused women 2015
PI: Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy Multi-center Randomized Controlled Trial of Psychosocial Bereavement Intervention for Widowed Older Adults in Hong Kong Research grants council-GRF $691,210 Developed and tested with RCT of a bereavement intervention model 2013
PI: Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy Evaluative Research on the Practice of Physical and Mental Revitalization Model on Elderly with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (Social Work Development Fund) $376,500 Developed and tested with RCT of a model of working with persons with dementia 2014
PI: Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy Reweaving Grief: Innovative Bereavement Care Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Fund $100,000 Integrated community-care for self-harm people 2016
PI: Dr. Law Y.W. Frances Effects of Community-based Caring Contact on Post-discharge Young Adults with Self-harm: A Multi-center Randomized Controlled Trial Research grants council- ECS $466,710 Integrated community-care for self-harm people 2016
PI: Dr. Law Y.W. Frances An Evaluation Study on Project Respect: Anti-bullying Programs for Primary School Children in Hong Kong Boys and Girls Clubs Association $400,000 Whole-school approach of anti-bullying 2015
PI: Dr. Law Y.W. Frances Capacity Building for Social Workers on Working with Cyber Youth: Leading to Evidence-based Group Work Practice Knowledge Exchange Impact Project Funding $40,000 Group-based intervention for youth with social withdrawal behaviors 2015
PI: Dr. Lu Shuang Mindfulness-based Intervention with Chinese Migrant Children China Huamin Charity Foundation $156,000 An evidence-based intervention that explores the effects of school-based mindfulness practice on migrant child well-being in China 2016
PI: Dr. Ng S.M. Group Therapy for Chinese medicine Stagnation Syndrome: A randomized controlled trial Research grants council-GRF $632,156 Developed a brief body-mind-spirt group therapy for people suffering Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome 2014
PI: Dr. Ng S.M. A survey of 'Stagnation' among Hong Kong Chinese Adults in the Community Research grants council-GRF $446,662 Operationalized the Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome for mental health practitioners 2009
PI: Dr. Ng S.M. Developing Active Interests before Retirement for Better Well-being after Retirement: A Senior Mentorship Scheme HK Jockey Club Charities Trust $1,120,000 Developed a cost-effective, self-sustainable retirement preparation program 2011
PI: Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Culturally-attuned Cognitive-behaviour Therapy for Chinese Adolescents with Anxiety Problems in School Settings in Hong Kong: A Randomised Control Design Research grants council-GRF $813,592 Testing a culturally attuned CBT model for Chinese youth with anxiety problems Training of frontline staff to administer the programme 2016
PI: Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Integrated Cognitive-behavioural Model for People with Problem Gambling in Hong Kong: A Randomized Waitlist Control Design Research grants council-GRF $418,500 Testing a culturally attuned CBT model for Chinese gamblers Training of frontline staff to administer the programme 2014
PI: Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel One-year Training on Integrated Cognitive-behaviour Intervention for Social Workers Working with Youth Drug Abusers Beat Drugs Fund $978267.63 Testing a culturally attuned CBT model for Chinese youth drug abusers Training of frontline staff to administer the programme 2016

Representative publications in the last five years (areas include: mental health, children and youth, specific therapies, reproductive health, Chinese medicine, bereavement and grief, and domestic violence)

Ji, X., Chan, C. H. Y., Lau, B. H. P., Chan, J. S. M., Chan, C. L. W., & Chung K. F. (2017). The interrelationship between sleep and depression: A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial on Integrative Mind-Body-Spirit intervention. Sleep Medicine, 29:41-46.

Chan, C.H.Y., Ji, X., Chan, J.S.M., Lau, B.H.P., So, K.F., Li, A., Chung, K.F., Ng, S.M. & Chan, C. L. W. (2017). Effects of the integrative mind-body intervention on depression, sleep disturbances and plasma IL-6. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86(1):54-56. doi: 10.1159/000447541.

Chan, J.S.M., Li, A., Ng, S.M., Ho, R.T.H., Xu, A., Yao, T.J., . . . Chan, C. L. W. (2016). Adiponectin potentially contributes to the anti-depressive effects of Baduanjin Qigong exercise in women with chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness. Cell Transplantation. 26:493-501. doi: 10.3727/096368916X096694238.

Chan, C. H. Y., Ji, X., Chan, J. S. M., Lau, B. H. P., So, K. F., Li, A., Chung, K. F., Ng, S. M. & Chan, C. L. W. (2017). Effects of the integrative mind-body intervention on depression, sleep disturbances and plasma IL-6. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85, 54-56.

Chan, C. H. Y., Lau, H. P. B., Tam, M. Y. J., & Ng, E. H. Y. (2016). A longitudinal study investigating the role of decision conflicts and regret and short term psychological adjustment after IVF treatment failure among infertile women. Human Reproduction, 31(12), 2772-2780.

Chan, C. H. Y., Chan, T. H. Y., Peterson, B. D., Lampic, C., & Tam, M. Y. J. (2015). Intentions and attitudes towards parenthood and fertility awareness among Chinese university students in Hong Kong: A comparison with Western samples. Human Reproduction, 30(2), 364-372.

Choi, A.W.M., Wong, J.Y.H., Lo, R.T. F., Chan, P.Y., Wong, J.K.S., Lau, C.L., & Kam, C.W. (In Press). Intimate partner violence victims' acceptance and refusal of on-site counseling in emergency departments: Predictors of help-seeking behavior explored through a 5-year medical chart review. Preventive Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.12.012.

Wang, L, Wu, Q., & Choi, A.W.M.*. (2017). Negative emotions as risk factors for self-directed violence and intimate partner violence in Chinese college students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260517713225.

Choi, A.W.M., Wong, J.Y.H., Kam, C.W., Lau, C.L., Wong, J.K.S., & Lo, R.T.F. (2015). Injury patterns and help-seeking behavior in Hong Kong male intimate partner violence victims. Journal of Emergency Medicine, 49, 217–226.

Chow, A. Y. M., McEvoy, J., Chan, I.K.N., Borschel, M., Yuen, J. H.L, Lo, J.Y.M. (2017). Do men and women with intellectual disabilities understand death? Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 61(12), 1130-1139.

Wang, C.W., Chow, A. Y. M.*. & Chan, C.L.W. (2017). The effects of life review interventions on spiritual well-being, psychological distress, and quality of life in patients with terminal or advanced cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Palliative Medicine, 31(10), 883-894.

Tang, S. & Chow, A. Y. M.* (2017). How do risk factors affect bereavement outcomes in later life? An exploration of the mediating role of dual process coping. Psychiatry Research, 255, 297-303.

Chan, M., Li, T.M.H., Law, Y.W., Wong, P.W.C., Chau, M., Cheng, C., Fu, K.W., Bacon-Shone, J., Yip, P.S.F. (2017) Engagement of vulnerable youths using internet platforms. PLoS ONE, 12(12): e0189023. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189023

Law, Y.W., Yip, P. S. F., Lai, C. C. S., Kwok, C. L., Wong, P. W. C., Liu, K.S., Ng, P. W. L., Liao, C. W. M., & Wong, T.W. (2016). A pilot study on the efficacy of volunteer mentorship for young adults with self-harm behaviors using a quasi-experimental design. Crisis, 37(6), 415-426. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000393.

Law, Y.W., Wong, P.W.C., & Yip, P.S.F. (2015). Health and psychosocial service use among suicides without psychiatric illness. Social Work, 60, 65–74. doi: 10.1093/sw/swu054

Lu, S., Rios, J., & Huang, C-C. (2017). Mindfulness, emotion, and behaviour: An intervention study with Chinese migrant children. Children & Society. doi:10.1111/chso.12256.

Lu, S., Huang, C-C., & Rios, J. (2017). Mindfulness and academic performance: An example of migrant children in China. Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 53-59.

Hu, H., Lu, S., & Huang, C-C. (2014). The psychological and behavioral outcomes of migrant and left-behind children in China. Children and Youth Services Review, 46, 1-10.

Ng, S.M., & Leng, L.L. (in press). Major depression in Chinese medicine outpatients with stagnation syndrome - Prevalence and the impairments in well-being. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Ng, S.M., Chow, K. W., Lau, H. P., & Wang, Q. (2017). Awareness versus un-clingig: Which matters in mindfulness? Contemporary Buddhism, 18(2), 263-276. doi:10.1080/14639947.2017.1374326.

Ng, S.M., Leng, L. L., & Wang, Q. (January 8, 2017). Active interest mentorship for soon-to-retire people: A self-sustaining retirement preparation program. Applied Gerontology, Online first. doi:10.1177/0733464816687448.

Ng, T. K. & Wong, F. K. D. (2017). The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for Chinese people: A meta-analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1-10. doi: 10.1177/0004867417741555.

Wong, F. K. D., Zhuang, X. Y. & Chan, V.Y.C. (2017). Evaluating the effects of a recovery-oriented cognitive-behaviour approach for working with Chinese people with mental illness in Hong Kong. Research on Social Work Practice, 1-9. doi: 10.1177/1049731517732837.

Zhuang, X. Y., Wong, F. K. D., Jackson, A., Dowling, N., & Lo, H. (2018). Evaluating the effectiveness of an integrated cognitive-behavioural intervention (CBI) model for male problem gamblers in Hong Kong: A matched-pair comparison design. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1-17. doi:10.1007/s10899-018-9747-1.

Upcoming conferences, symposia, professional training and public seminars

Date Title of the Activity Type (e.g. workshop, talk, forum) Organizer(s) Target(s) and Expected numbers (i.e. Academics, Professionals, General public) Fee Charging (Yes/No), Amount Learning opportunities for students (Yes/No) and the numbers that can be involved Person-in-charge
June 2018 Conference presentation Oral Presentation JCECC, HKU 600 professional No Yes Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy
Mid 2018 Seeing the Invisible, Parent-child IBMS group Intervention group Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU Children with eczema and their family caregivers from the General Public No Yes, each intervention arm can accommodate 2 student helpers Dr. Chan H.Y. Celia
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Jun 22, 2018 Chinese medicine perspective on depression - a strategic integrative approach Research seminar Department of Social Work and Social Administration Local professionals No Yes, no fixed quota Dr. Gloria Wong
9:00 am - 5:00 pm July 9 Brief body-mind-spirit group therapy for Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome Workshop Department of Social Work and Social Administration Local professionals No No Dr. Gloria Wong
9:00 am – 4:30 pm, July 20, 2018 Transforming Body-Mind-Spirit in Social Work : Emerging Practice and Development Symposium Department of Social Work and Social Administration Local professionals, 200 Yes, $700/$1000 Yes Prof. Ceci Chan
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm, Oct 26, 2018 Adapting a Well-Developed Model in another Culture: : A Randomized Control Trial of CBT for Anxiety in Youth Research seminar Department of Social Work and Social Administration Academics and professionals No Yes Prof. Daniel Wong
27 Oct, 2018 International Conference on Social Innovation in Child and Youth Services Presentation & forum Renmin University & Rutgers University Academics & professionals N/A Yes Dr. Lu Shuang Bella
November, 2018 CBT on students with anxiety symptom in Hong Kong Workshop Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU 100 No Yes, to students Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel
December, 2018 CBT on youth drug addiction in Hong Kong Workshop Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU 100 No Yes, to students Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel

Case and group consultation/demonstration

Type of Activity Target Audience Time Any other information Person-in-charge
Workshop on CBT for the depressed Chinese people with depressive and anxiety symptoms 7:00 pm-10:00 pm, 18 & 25 Jan, 2018;1st Feb, 2018 Demonstrating the use of CBT in a workshop format, students of MSocSc and MSW programmes are welcomed to join Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel
CBT on Emotion Management Mainland college students March-May, 2018 For student observation by invitation Prof. Wong F.K. Daniel
In-house supervision for St. James Settlement Social workers in end of life care Twice a month Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy
In-house supervision for TWGHs Social workers in intergenerational art and dementia Once every quarter Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy
Private consultation for Singaporean social workers Fellow of NYU end of life care Programme Once every two months (as guest mentor for the NYU program) Dr. Chow Y.M. Amy
Mindfulness in daily life Practitioners and scholars interested in mindfulness practice in non-clinical settings Dr. Lu Shuang
Live case demonstration BSW Year 4 students Every Fridays 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm During term time only Dr. Ng S.M.