Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec

Abstract

Research suggests that when a patient experiences a stroke, the lives of the patient and family of the patient can be impacted in many different ways. The purpose of this project was to identify the ways social workers work with stroke patients in the hospital, and how do they identify mental health symptoms in these patients. Using a qualitative design, four social workers, currently providing services in hospitals were interviewed. Data was analyzed using deductive approaches in which themes were developed from the interview responses. The findings indicated that most mental health symptoms are identified in patients, and then treated once the patient leaves hospitalization. Also, social workers have ways to identify general mental health themes, but do not have a standard mental health inventory or screen. The findings demonstrate that stroke patients and families of the patients may be overwhelmed, but still need support and compassion. This support could come from the social worker assigned to the family, or possibly from a volunteer in order to help normalize and care for the patient.

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