Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

End-of-life care needs professionals with a holistic view including families and communities

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An article in the Lincoln Journal Star reports on the Nebraska End-of-Life survey, a random sample survey of citizens of Nebraska, first done in 2003 and repeated in 2010. This is a survey by a hospice, so it has an interest in telling you how much better hospice care could be if only the rest of the healthcare system took enough notice of it. But the results include a common experience that people would like to discuss end-of-life matters with their doctor, and expect their doctor to be completely open with them. But many doctors specialise so much that they don’t have a holistic life picture of their patients.

If you want to plan end-of-life care, you have to have professionals who take a whole person and whole family and community view of the people they work with. Perhaps the old-fashioned family doctor had this, but modern specialised doctors tend not to. Perhaps we all need a whole-life social worker.

Link to the article and to download the survey: Journal Star article

Citation: Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association (2011) Nebraska End of Life Survey Report. Nebraska: NHPCA.

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Written by Malcolm Payne

1 August 2012 at 1:49 pm

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