In the field of social work, instruments (sometimes called tests) and measures (sometimes called measurements) are used for examining common psychosocial outcomes, such as stress, family functioning, or self-efficacy. For example, if you were studying stress levels in people who are caretakers of the elderly, you might assign each caretaker a Caregiving Stress Summary Score. These instruments address very specific topics and must be applied in specific ways. They generally have very clear names, such as:
As a student, you will likely read articles and books in which researchers discuss how they applied or used these instruments and measures. Later, you may end up doing your own studies that also make use of these instruments and measures.
In many cases, it helps to know which instruments and measures exist and what they're called before you go looking for them. Try these resources:
Once you know which instrument you're looking for, search for articles that mention or use that instrument. Try these databases: