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Cancer patients' motives for psychosocial consultation: Oncology social workers' perceptions of 226 patient cases
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Institutionen för socialt arbete, Stockholms universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2048-9814
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2018 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 1180-1184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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 feeling 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 predicts 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Vol. 27, no 4, p. 1180-1184
Keyword [en]
cancer, counseling, oncology, oncology social workers, patients' motives
National Category
Social Work Cancer and Oncology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-144286DOI: 10.1002/pon.4633OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-144286DiVA, id: diva2:1178649
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, 20150039
Available from: 2018-01-30 Created: 2018-01-30 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Isaksson, JoakimLilliehorn, SaraSalander, Pär

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