Wiley Publishers have informed White Winstanley Ltd Director, Dr Edward White, that one of his recent research papers* was the top downloaded article from the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing and one of the top 20 most read articles in 2017-2018.
His article traced the historical development of clinical supervision to show a creditable evidence base had accumulated to demonstrate a positive effect on supervisees. However, comparatively little research evidence has entered the public domain on any effect that clinical supervision might have on other nominated outcomes.
In Australia, developments in clinical supervision were recently prompted by initiatives at national and State levels. Since 2010, lead agencies for these have sought feedback from professional bodies and organizations on a number of inter-related draft policy documents.
His article tracked changes over time between the draft and ﬁnal versions of these documents in New South Wales, and reviewed the original sources of literature cited within them. The strength of evidence upon which the ﬁnal published versions were reportedly predicated was scrutinized.
Upon examination, Dr White found that claims to the wider beneﬁts of clinical supervision were found to be unconvincingly supported, not least because the examples selected by the agencies from the international literature and cited in their respective documents were either silent, parsimonious, or contradictory.
He found that many claims remain at the level of folklore/hypothetical propositions, therefore, and stayed worthy of rigorous empirical testing and faithful public reporting. He acknowledged that such investigations are notoriously difﬁcult to conduct and identiﬁed noteworthy examples in the contemporary literature that signpost robust ways forward for empirical outcomes-orientated research, the ﬁndings from which might strengthen the evidence base of future policy documents.
*White E  Claims to the benefits of Clinical Supervision: a critique of the policy development process and outcomes in New South Wales, Australia. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26, pp65–76 [ISSN 1445-8330].