Reading Guide


This Reading Guide provides a brief introduction to the now considerable literature on values-based practice and other tools in the growing ‘tool kit’ of ways of working with values in health and social care.

Suggestions for further reading are included with each section.

Many Voices

The many voices of values-based practice are reflected in the variety and range of materials described here. Those who use services (patients and carers) as well as those who provide them (clinical professionals of various kinds, managers, policy makers and researchers) have contributed and continue to contribute to the development of values-based approaches.

Co-production – an equality of voices between service users and service providers – is a shared ambition among many in today’s health and social care. In values-based practice it is of the essence.

What this Reading Guide Covers

The opening two sections of the Reading Guide cover

Both theory and practice raise a number of controversial and on-going issues. An introduction to these is given in the section Research and On-going Development.

A key challenge for values-based practice is the difficulty of accessing sources. Much relevant information on values is in ‘grey literature’; and access to more formal research findings is hampered by the fact that electronic databases are not structured for easy retrieval of values-related papers – searching on ‘value*’ in Medline for example brings up millions of ‘hits’ but mostly about numerical values (‘the value of the hemoglobin is…’). The final part of the section Research and On-going Development thus offers suggestions for Knowledge Retrieval.

Values-based practice is at its most effective when used in conjunction with other tools in the increasingly well resourced ‘tool kit’ of ways of working with values in health and social care. A selection of these other tools is described in the final section of the Reading Guide The Values Tool Kit.

Help us improve this Reading Guide

We welcome suggestions for improving any part of this Reading Guide or extending its scope.

We also welcome submission of brief annotations, short articles and bibliographies on specific topics.

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