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Implementing a hospital-based violence intervention program for assault-injured youth: implications for social work practice

ABSTRACT Youth in the U.S. experience a high rate of assault-related injuries resulting in physical, psychological and social sequelae that require a wide range of services after discharge from the hospital. Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIP’s) have been developed to engage youth in services designed to reduce the incidence of violent injury in young people. HVIP’s combine the efforts of medical staff with community-based partners to provide trauma-informed care to violently-injured people and have been found to be a cost-effective means to reduce re-injury rates and improve social and behavioral health outcomes. Few studies have explored the organizational and community level factors that impact implementation of these important and complex interventions. The objective of this study was to develop an in-depth understanding of the factors that impact HVIP implementation from the perspectives of 41 stakeholders through qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis generated three themes that included the importance of integrated, collaborative care, the need for providers who can perform multiple service roles and deploy a range of skills, and the importance of engaging clients through extended contact. In this article we explore these themes and their implications for healthcare social work.

Needs and experiences of cancer care in patients’ perspectives among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community: a systematic review

ABSTRACT Individuals within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community who are diagnosed with cancer experience inequitable treatment in healthcare systems worldwide, resulting in dissatisfaction, communication challenges with healthcare providers, and a deep sense of disappointment. Stigma, discrimination, and perceived homophobia further heighten the risk of psychological and attitudinal disorders, including depression and suicidal tendencies, among LGBTQ cancer patients. To comprehensively assess the discrimination faced by LGBTQ cancer patients and gain deeper insights into their needs and experiences, we conducted a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines. We searched for relevant articles using specific keywords in reputable databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and PsycINFO. We rigorously evaluated article quality using the CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme) checklist. From a total of 75 eligible studies, we carefully selected 14 studies, specifically examining LGBTQ cancer patients who were currently undergoing or had previously undergone cancer treatment. The studies revealed various factors, including unmet needs related to anxiety and depression, instances of discrimination, disparities in care, and inadequate support systems. A majority of patients expressed dissatisfaction with their cancer care and continued to encounter discrimination and disparities throughout their treatment journeys. Consequently, this led to heightened levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and negative perceptions of healthcare providers. Based on these findings, we recommend providing specialized training to social workers and healthcare providers. This training will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver culturally sensitive care tailored to the unique needs of LGBTQ cancer patients. By addressing discrimination, reducing disparities, and fostering an inclusive environment, healthcare professionals can strive to ensure that LGBTQ cancer patients receive the care they deserve.

“We’re kind of on the back burner”: Psychological distress and coping among medical social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

ABSTRACT Medical social workers are essential members of healthcare teams, especially during a pandemic. Their scope of practice includes conducting psychological assessments, coordinating social services, connecting patients to resources that address social determinants of health, discharge planning, and patient advocacy. Social workers’ experiences of psychological distress were unique even before the COVID-19 pandemic; their work demands a high amount of emotional investment as they frequently witness others’ pain and suffering and navigate various daily challenges and crises. This study explores psychological distress experienced by medical social workers and the coping strategies used by these professionals during the pandemic prior to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Faced with conflicting information from state and federal agencies, social workers dealt with resource shortages, took on additional roles and responsibilities, and contended with regular value conflicts and ethical dilemmas. Our findings indicate that medical social workers are not sufficiently protected or prioritized in their workplaces and that infrastructure to support social workers’ emotional wellbeing is lacking. Distinct themes that emerged from the data under the umbrella of psychological distress include feeling unprotected, overburdened, and undervalued. We discuss a need for targeted policy and sustainability-oriented solutions to improve coping and resilience, mitigate psychological distress, and prevent burnout among medical social workers.

How deep is the cancerous cut of substance use disorders on human rights? The effects of substance use disorders from a human rights perspective: The thinking of Developmental Clinical Social Work

ABSTRACT Developmental Clinical Social Work (DCSW) involves the integration of social development approaches to the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological, behavioral, emotional, and medical disorders through social work methods. In doing so, it also covers the predispositions that occur over time in one’s life course. Utilising the thinking of Developmental Clinical Social Work, the paper explores the effects of substance use disorders from a human rights perspective. The human rights to health, adequate housing, food and nutrition, development, clean and healthy environment, occupational health and safety, education, parental and children rights have been discussed considering the effects of substance use disorders. The article stimulates the realization that investment in the prevention of substance use disorders advances for the attainment and enjoyment of the above-mentioned human rights. To its end, the paper contradicts with the notion that the use of drugs is a “human right”. It justifies the need for court sanctioned substance use disorder treatment facilities that are evidence-based and adhere to human rights. It should be noted that this is a conceptual reflection of three academics, two of whom have taught on the advanced substance use and treatment course and one has taught on developmental social work courses.

Health disparities in orthopedic trauma: a qualitative study examining providers’ perspectives on barriers to care and recovery outcomes

ABSTRACT Social workers involved in interdisciplinary orthopedic trauma care can benefit from the knowledge of providers’ perspectives on healthcare disparities in this field. Using qualitative data from focus groups conducted on 79 orthopedic care providers at three Level 1 trauma centers, we assessed their perspectives on orthopedic trauma healthcare disparities and discussed potential solutions. Focus groups originally aimed to detect barriers and facilitators of the implementation of a trial of a live video mind-body intervention to aid in recovery in orthopedic trauma care settings (Toolkit for Optimal Recovery-TOR). We used the Socio-Ecological Model to analyze an emerging code of “health disparities” during data analysis to determine at which levels of care these disparities occurred. We identified factors related to health disparities in orthopedic trauma care and outcomes at the Individual (Education- comprehension, health-literacy; Language Barriers; Psychological Health- emotional distress, alcohol/drug use, learned helplessness; Physical Health- obesity, smoking; and Access to Technology), Relationship (Social Support Network), Community (Transportation and Employment Security), and Societal level (Access- safe/clean housing, insurance, mental health resources; Culture). We discuss the implications of the findings and provide recommendations to address these issues, with a specific focus on their relevance to the field of social work in health care.

High quality resident care increases likelihood that nursing home social service directors report thriving at work

ABSTRACT Nursing homes contend with high staff turnover. Resources invested in employees are lost when an employee leaves. However, if employees are thriving in their job, turnover is less a concern. How can employers promote thriving in employees? Using an adaptation of Spreitzer et al. (2005)’s Social Embeddedness Model of Thriving at Work as a conceptual framework, we performed a logistic regression on the responses of 836 nursing home social service directors in the 2019 National Nursing Home Social Service Director Survey to determine factors that contribute to thriving. The model explained 39% of the variation. Seven variables contributed the most to distinguishing social service directors who report thriving at work from those who do not. Having greater influence on social service functions, having time to support residents, not having to do things others could do, and the facility providing quality care were all associated with greater thriving. Those who reported the administrator and/or attending physicians engage the expertise of social services were more likely to report thriving at work. Working in nursing home social services is demanding; retaining a good social worker is important. These findings suggest ways in which administrators can support social service directors thriving at work.