Research supports social work’s important role in aiding brain injury victims

Aug 20, 2014

A research study finds that a 20-minute conversation with a social worker has the potential to significantly reduce the functional decline of those diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, according to a news article posted on the University of Washington website.

The research was published in the April issue of Brain Injury.

Megan Moore, assistant professor at UW’s School of Social Work, trains social workers in emergency departments to provide education and resources to patients with mild traumatic brain injuries to help them deal with symptoms and the recovery process, the story says.

Moore told NASW that her research has generated interest in the role of social workers in treating patients with serious medical conditions.

“Reporters have asked me, ‘How would a social worker be able to help someone with a medical condition like TBI?’ The general public does not always understand what social workers do and that outcomes from medical conditions are linked to psychosocial factors,” she said.

Moore says in the article, “Social workers are masters-level trained clinicians who are already embedded in emergency room treatment teams. The goal of my work is to provide them with specialized training on mild traumatic brain injuries to help bridge the psychological and social aspects of treatment with medical care.”

The story notes that while conducting her doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, Moore designed a study that is currently running at San Francisco General Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center.

From the July 2014 NASW News’ “Social Work in Action.”

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