A systematic review of social work in general practice: Opportunities and challenges

Zuchowski, Ines, and McLennan, Simoane (2023) A systematic review of social work in general practice: Opportunities and challenges. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 20 (5). pp. 686-726.

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Abstract

Purpose: This study identified the nature of social work practice in primary health care and described the reported patient outcomes, benefits, challenges and enablers of social work in general practice [GP] settings.

Method: A systematic literature review applying the Prisma framework was conducted.

Results: A total of 26 studies met the inclusion criteria. Social work practice in GP assists in delivering positive health outcomes for patients, improved patient care, offers value for money and supports interdisciplinary teams. Identified challenges include funding impediments, organisational barriers and a lack of understanding of and undervaluing the social work role.

Discussion and Conclusions: The review outlined the benefits of social work practice in GP practices; however, these must be further evidenced. Funding for social workers in primary health care was identified as a challenge when it was lacking, and as an enabler when it was available. Further research to evidence the patient outcomes and overall benefits, the fiscal value of social work and funding pathways in primary health care is recommended.

Item ID: 78011
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2640-8074
Keywords: Social work; social workers; GP; general practitioners; primary health care; interdisciplinary practice; patient care
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Funders: North Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN)
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2023 23:50
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440901 Clinical social work practice @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440902 Counselling, wellbeing and community services @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440903 Social program evaluation @ 30%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200299 Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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