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Article

Sandra K. Danziger and Karen M. Staller

Societies greatly vary in how social ills or conditions are framed and addressed. What is socially problematic and why specific societal responses are developed depends on competing social values in social, political, and historic context. Social constructionists examine how some social behaviors and conditions come to be publicly viewed as social problems and how these views shape policy and practice. Recent studies document two contemporary trends—the medicalizing and criminalizing of behavior for labeling problems and subjecting them to institutions of social control. Analyses of the social problems process (Best, 2013; Staller, 2009) allow social workers to consider how power, politics, fears, prejudices, and values “create” what is problematic about a variety of social conditions.

Article

Alice Lieberman

Ann Weick was the dean of the School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas (1987–2006) and a principal developer of the underlying rationale for the strengths perspective in social work practice.

Article

QingYing Ji and Anao Zhang

This article offers an overview of medical social work development in Shanghai, China. The Chinese definition of medical social work is introduced, and its development in Shanghai is described. Both from a history and policy perspective, this article outlines the three stages of medical social work development in Shanghai chronologically while introducing relevant national policies for medical social work at each stage. Lessons learned from the past are summarized and reviewed. Finally, future directions for further development are discussed.

Article

Wan-I Lin

Rong-li Liao (1936–2010) was a psychiatric social worker and educator. He was a professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the National Taiwan University from 1970 to 1996 and helped to organize the Medical Social Work Association of R. O. C. (Taiwan).

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Harriett Rinaldo (1906–1981) helped shape and create job definitions and standards for caring for veterans that became a model for the federal government and other social work agencies. She was the first to identify “clinical social work” as a specialty standard within personnel specifications.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Mary Antoinette Cannon (1884–1962) was a social worker and educator who helped develop medical social work. She created courses in psychiatry and medicine in schools of social work and helped establish the Social Services Employees Union.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Ida Maud Cannon (1877–1960) was director of the Social Service Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she defined and developed medical social work. She moved medical social work into the community and provided social workers with specialized medical knowledge.

Article

Vimla Nadkarni

Gauri Banerjee instituted the first department of medical and psychiatric social work in the field of medical and psychiatric social work in India. She laid the groundwork for indigenizing social work education by modifying and linking concepts from Indian traditional literature, religious texts, and Indian social reformers into her teachings and practices.

Article

Jared Sparks

Personalized health care (PHC) is a broad term that describes how we leverage our growing understanding of the human body and developing technology to provide more effective health care. PHC requires that health care providers consider prevention and treatment in the context of available advanced technologies, best practices, and known variables that define us as individuals. These variables or characteristics may run the gamut from genetic, to biologic, to environmental, to even personality, personal values, and choice. By considering how these characteristics interact with specific illnesses and available interventions, outcomes can be improved. The purpose of this article is to: describe PHC’s current conceptualization including relationship with personalized medicine and patient-centered models of care, discuss its development and application by specific stakeholders, and review pertinent economic, legislative, and ethical issues.

Article

Namkee G. Choi

Adult day care centers provide important health, social, and support services for functionally and cognitively impaired adults and their caregivers. The adult day care services are underutilized, however, because of the shortage of centers, caregivers' lack of awareness of and resistance to using services, and the mismatch between the needs of potential consumers and their informal caregivers and the services provided by the centers. To foster and support the expansion of adult day care centers, lessons learned from national demonstration programs need to be disseminated, and social workers need to be trained to provide essential services at the centers.

Article

Beatrice N. Saunders

Harriett M. Bartlett (1897–1987) was a social worker and theoretician who served as president of the American Association of Medical Social Workers from 1942 to 1944. She highlighted social functioning as a central focus of social work practice.

Article

Paul H. Ephross

William D. Bechill (1928–2007) was a social worker who raised public and governmental consciousness about the needs of older Americans. He was responsible for the original design of the Medi–Cal legislation in California, which anticipated much of the Federal Medicare.

Article

Edith Olmsted

Robert Morris (1910–2005), professor of social planning at Brandeis University, became director of the Levinson Policy Institute in 1970. He wrote on social planning, gerontology, and medical care, and was editor of Journal of Social Work from 1960 to 1972.

Article

Jasmine P. Brown and Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar

The condition of disability and disabled persons in society has shifted and transformed throughout time and history with the rise of medical interventions, capitalism, and disability advocacy. This article discusses the different theories and models that have dominated the study of disability and further explains the contributions of disability theory on disability identity, as well as the intersection of disability and race. Also, with the rise of the social model ideals, there has been an increase in advocacy and empowerment within the disability community. This article concludes with an overview of advocacy and empowerment interventions for and with individuals with disabilities and recommendations for future research in sociology.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Edward Fisher Krise (1924–2003), an army colonel and social service administrator, was a trailblazer, problem-solver, and a leader in his military career and in civilian life.

Article

Lonnie R. Snowden

This entry describes the extent of the mental health problem in the United States, trends in treatment rates, and evidence that public recognition of mental illness and related interventions is increasing both in the United States and internationally. Emphasis is given to the structure of the mental health system's major sectors, to the key roles that social workers play, and to the challenges they face, outlined at the conclusion of several sections, in providing effective and quality care against the complex backdrop of this system.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Richard Clarke Cabot (1865–1939) was a physician and educator from Massachusetts, who initiated the first social work department at a US medical school. He instituted home visits to gain information about patients and make medicine more efficient through social work.

Article

Colleen Galambos

This entry provides an overview of the state of health care in the United States. Service delivery problems such as access and affordability issues are examined, and health care disparities and the populations affected are identified. A discussion of two primary government-sponsored health care programs—Title XVIII (Medicare) and Title XIX (Medicaid), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act—are reviewed along with various health care programs and major existing service delivery systems. Ethical conflicts in providing health care, and new directions and challenges are discussed, along with future roles for social workers.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Joan Bonner Conway’s (1920–2008) career in social work spanned over four decades. Her practice and administrative skills included large and small hospitals and rehabilitation settings. Through her pioneering efforts in these settings she was able to make significant contributions to the social work specialty of medical social work.

Article

Shirley Otis-Green

Health social work is a subspecialization of social work concerned with a person's adjustment to changes in one's health and the impact this has on that person's social network. Social workers in every setting must be ready to assist individuals and families adjusting to illness and coping with medical crises. This entry provides a brief overview and history of health social work and describes the settings and roles where this work is practiced. Significant challenges and opportunities in clinical care, research, education, and policy are discussed. Standards and guidelines for quality practice are then noted.