Journal Article

What Do Social Workers Think about the Palliative Care Needs of People with Parkinson's Disease?

Mary Waldron, W. George Kernohan, Felicity Hasson, Susan Foster and Barbara Cochrane

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 43, issue 1, pages 81-98
Published in print February 2013 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr157
What Do Social Workers Think about the Palliative Care Needs of People with Parkinson's Disease?

Show Summary Details

Preview

Social workers are key professionals in assessing social care need and providing support. However, needs in the palliative care stage of chronic illness are not always well managed. In this study, we set out to examine the social worker's role in the delivery of palliative care to clients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Two focus groups and one individual interview were undertaken with thirteen social workers with experience of working with clients with PD in community and hospice settings. Differing perceptions of palliative care emerged: from a holistic approach to specialist care near the end of life. Negative associations of palliative care were identified. Other barriers also exist such as a lack of knowledge and experience of PD and a lack of resources, that hinder the delivery of palliative care to clients with chronic conditions. Different interpretations of palliative care affect its delivery to clients with long-term chronic conditions. Very few clients with PD are referred to specialist palliative care specifically for management of their symptoms, which must prevent holistic care. Social workers have an important, yet underdeveloped, role in identifying and addressing palliative care needs. Policies and procedures should be clarified regarding prioritisation and access for clients with chronic long-term conditions to appropriate palliative care.

Keywords: Social workers; Parkinson's disease; palliative care; focus groups

Journal Article.  6577 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.