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Social Work Interventions in Cancer Care

The practitioner research grant for 2018/2019 has been awarded to an academic and practitioner partnership researching social work practice in cancer care. The aims of the study are to identify the reasons for referring cancer patients and carers to social work and the types of interventions undertaken by social workers. By understanding more about social work practice in this area, more can be learned about those with whom we practice.

Social workers in health settings are often at the forefront of psychosocial support in cancer care however there have been few studies that have explored the types of social work interventions undertaken with cancer patients in Australia. Social work practice in the health field is intrinsically contextualised by the social determinants of health and health inequalities. Individuals, groups and communities that experience higher mortality rates from all cancers combined, and poor or variable psychosocial outcomes are often from communities experiencing impoverished and inequitable access to appropriate services particularly in rural and regional centres and in Indigenous communities.

The multi-state, multi-site study is using clinical data-mining methodology and is being conducted in health care settings in metropolitan, regional and rural centres in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Dr Rosalie Pockett, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney. Rosalie.Pockett@sydney.edu.au

Mr Ray Araullo, Deputy Director, Social Work Department, Royal North Shore Hospital St Leonards, NSW Raymond.Araullo@health.nsw.gov.au

Ms Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Westmead Hospital, Westmead NSW Kim.Hobbs@health.nsw.gov.au

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers