The Intervention of the Social Worker in Palliative Care




Palliative care, Social Work, Multidisciplinary Team, Patient, Family


Palliative care involves not only specialised care that allows for the control of physical symptoms but also psychological, spiritual, and social support. In this study, palliative care was analysed from the perspective of social workers, with the aim of understanding their intervention in this context with patients and their families. A qualitative methodology was followed, using nine semi-structured interviews with social workers practising in palliative care. The analysis of these interviews reveals the recognition of the functional dimension and ethical appreciation of social workers. As part of the multidisciplinary team, the social worker assesses the adaptation process to the illness and the socio-familial concerns, promotes the social well-being of the patient and family, and integrates the community network to address needs for the continuity and stability of care. The intervention principles of this professional in palliative care correspond to respecting the patients’ and their family's dignity, involving adherence to the principle of confidentiality, and establishing an empathetic relationship reinforced by communication, with a focus on the humanistic dimension.