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  • 1.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Umeå University, Sweden.
    Lilliehorn, Sara
    Salander, Pär
    Cancer patients' motives for psychosocial consultation - Oncology social workers' perceptions of 226 patient cases2018In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 1180-1184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Although oncology social workers (OSWs) have emerged as a core profession in the provision of psychosocial services, there is a lack of empirical studies that describe their daily clinical work with patients. The overall aim of this study was to explore cancer patients' motives for consulting an OSW.

    Methods: From a nationwide survey, we used data from 226 patient cases that OSWs met face to face. The OSWs were asked to describe how the case was referred to them, the patient's characteristics, and what they perceived as the patient's motives for contacting them as well as additional motives that came up during the consultations.

    Results: Patients have different motives for consulting an OSW, and these motives change over the course of consultations; while feelings associated with being diagnosed with cancer were often the initial motive, questions associated with moving on in life and dealing with relationships and the overall life situation were added over time.

    Conclusions: The results show that Swedish OSWs' function is multifaceted and that the initial motives among patients rarely predict the content in consultations over time. Based on the diversity of motives, it seems obvious that OSWs (at least in Sweden) need a broad education in the psychology of counselling. It also seems obvious that even if patients initially were referred by health care staff to the OSW due to psychological reactions to being ill, staff should also be attentive to the fact that relational and socio-economic/juridical issues are of great concern for the patients.

  • 2.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lilliehorn, Sara
    Salander, Pär
    Next of kin's motives for psychosocial consultation: Oncology social worker's perceptions of 54 next of kin cases2019In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 154-159Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Although oncology social workers (OSWs) have emerged as a core profession in the provision of psychosocial services, there is a lack of empirical studies that describe their daily clinical work with next of kin (NOK). The overall aim of this study was to explore NOK's motives for consulting an OSW. This can provide us with insights into what types of skills OSWs need to have in order to fulfil their duties.

    Methods: From a nationwide survey, we used data from 54 NOK cases that Swedish OSWs met face to face.

    Results: About half of the motives concerned help in dealing with personal grief connected to the patients' cancer and distressing symptoms, while the other half concerned needs for help in dealing with the position of being the NOK, relationship conflicts, and assistance with socio-economic issues.

    Conclusions: The motives show that NOK does not just ask for help to come to terms with distress related to the patients' situation. Based on the diversity of motives, we suggest that OSWs (at least in Sweden) need a broad education in counselling psychology. Furthermore, health care personnel need to be attentive to the NOK's own voice and not reduce it to the voice of the patient and the patient's needs in referrals.

  • 3. Lilliehorn, Sara
    et al.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Salander, Pär
    What does an oncology social worker deal with in patient consultations? – An empirical study2019In: Social work in health care, ISSN 0098-1389, E-ISSN 1541-034X, Vol. 58, no 5, p. 494-508Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 4. Salander, Pär
    et al.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lilliehorn, Sara
    Kuratorsfunktionen i svensk cancersjukvård: en nationell genomlysning2018In: Omsorg: Nordisk tidsskrift for Palliativ Medisin, ISSN 0800-7489, no 3, p. 62-65Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Socialarbetaren (kuratorn) är den profession som i svensk cancersjukvård specifikt står för det psykosociala perspektivet. Föreliggande studie analyserar kuratorns verksamhet med utgångspunkt i patienters motiv till att söka upp kurator. Utfallet ger vid handen att motiven inte i första hand är socioekonomiska eller juridiska, utan i stället psykologiska, och förtrogenhet med det councelling-orienterade samtalet är därför efterfrågat och centralt. Detta bör beaktas när man planerar för legitimation av kuratorer i hälso- och sjukvård.

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