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What does an oncology social worker deal with in patient consultations? – An empirical study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2048-9814
2019 (English)In: Social work in health care, ISSN 0098-1389, E-ISSN 1541-034X, Vol. 58, no 5, p. 494-508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The oncology social worker is a core profession in the psychosocial care on cancer patients, and has been scrutinised according to its role, function, and delivery of care, primarily from an Anglo-Saxon perspective. There is, however, a lack of studies outside this context, and empirical studies based on individual data. This study is a contribution by exploring the variability in clinical practice from a Swedish perspective. It is based on documentation from one oncology social worker's (OSW's) patient contacts over the course of one year. The essence of the majority of contacts was counseling and the patients displayed a wide variety of motives for seeing an OSW. The function of the OSW is thus multifaceted, and the findings suggest that the OSW, in addition to guiding patients in social legislation issues, also should be prepared to act as an anchor in an acute crisis, contain despair in different phases of the trajectory, and facilitate the 'carrying on as before' or finding a 'new normal'. The paper discusses the importance of the OSW being acquainted with different counseling/psychotherapy perspectives in the illness context, but primarily the importance of having the ability to establish a 'working alliance' with their patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 58, no 5, p. 494-508
Keywords [en]
Cancer, counseling, clinical practice, oncology social work
National Category
Cancer and Oncology Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167335DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2019.1587661ISI: 000464332400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167335DiVA, id: diva2:1300932
Projects
A nationwide study of the function of the social worker in cancer care and rehabilitation: the present status and prospects for the future
Funder
The Kamprad Family Foundation, 20150039Available from: 2019-04-01 Created: 2019-04-01 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Lilliehorn, SaraIsaksson, JoakimSalander, Pär
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