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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social workers' recommendations on institutional care in a veterans hospital : an examination of the factors relevant to social workers' recommendations as to the necessity of institutional care for married male veterans with special attention to the assessment of marital relationships; based on Medical… McAllister, Clare Nulalinda


This study makes an examination of the factors involved in social workers' recommendations as to the necessity of institutional care for married hospital patients, a form of long-term care available within the general setting of a Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital. Attention is given to the reasons governing the "social, recommendation" made by the social worker, when the decision lies between the granting of institutional care, or the patient’s return to his home to be cared for by his wife. The activities which lead to the social prognosis on which the recommendation is based in this special setting, are similar to those undertaken in various welfare agencies, where social workers assist families and doctors in decisions as to whether chronically ill persons may be attended to at tome, or must be cared for in a nursing home or similar setting. In answer to the query as to what elements are considered in the formulation of a professional opinion, the importance of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the marital relationship becomes a major theme of the study. The method adopted in the study is (a) to single out a series of cases which indicate the range of problems considered to be typical in the hospital studies; (b) to present the recommendations made by the social worker and the reasons for them; (c) to specify as far as possible the services rendered by the social worker in these cases. Seven direct and six indirect services are distinguished. Attention is also given to the kind of facts which the social worker finds to be significent in assessing the strengths of a marriage, since the prognosis arising from these, and the outcome of the resultant "social treatment", frequently determine the recommendation. In a final chapter, the assessment and modification of inter-personal relations between husband and wife and the family members are presented as the distinctive activity of the social worker in the hospital settings. The examination of this contribution, and others made by the social worker to the resolution of the types- of problems under study, is not represented as exhaustive. It is set out as an initial descriptive account of the process inherent in the formulation of a professional opinion, an account which might be expanded in further research.

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