Social Work and Family Practice: a Literature Review
Social Work and Family Practice: a Literature Reviewgerman translation / full article
Background: The cooperation of family practitioners and other health care professions plays an increasingly important role in primary care. The aim is to explore and narratively describe the topic based on the scientific literature using the example of social work.
Methods: Literature research in the databases PubMed and Scopus using the search terms “primary care” and “general practice” in combination with “social work”. Hand search in the German Journal of Family Medicine.
Results: The first research led to 555 articles, of which 10 articles were considered in full text for this review. Since the 1960s, social work has been mentioned in the primary care sector, for example in the context of multi-professional care for chronically ill older people. The literature indicates that social work is less represented in family practice, and cooperation of family practice and social work is complicated by a lack of knowledge concerning competences and by missing formal arrangements.
Conclusions: Social worker can play an important role in the primary care sector. However, so far they are only partly integrated into family practice. Social work should be given more attention while establishing multi-professional family physician-centered team structures.