Social Workers in Pediatric Intensive Care Units: A Physician Perspective


Social Workers in Pediatric Intensive Care Units: A Physician Perspective


Atakul G; Aslan K; Demircan TO; Ozhan P; Caglar A


Turkish Journal of Pediatric Disease




child; article; female; human; male; retrospective study; Intensive Care Units; palliative therapy; pediatric intensive care unit; follow up; consultation; hospitalization; adolescent; infant; social problem; social worker; counseling; physician; Social Work; child psychiatry; abuse; Turkey (republic); child custody; child neglect; community mental health center; hospital information system


Objective: The role of social workers, who are beginning to be integrated into the entire health system, is now becoming more and more understood. In our study, we aimed to discuss the duties of social workers at PICU, the results of their work in harmony with the physicians, and their importance for the intensive care team. Material(s) and Method(s): Sixtysix children aged between 1 month and 18 years old who were asked for social service consultation between January 2019 and December 2020 at our hospital's PICU were included in the study. The age, diagnosis, sex, marital status (married-divorced), number of days of hospitalization, number of recurrent hospitalization, reason and result of consultation, necessity of psychiatric consultation and frequency of follow-up were retrospectively examined and recorded through the hospital information system. The collected data were analyzed by means of SPSS (version 22.0, SPSS Inc. Chicago, IL, USA). Result(s): The median age (months) (min-max) was found to be 172, 50 (6-209), and the median (min-max) duration of hospitalization (days) was found to be 2 (1-76). Family neglect was found to be the most common cause of social work indications (77.3%; n: 51). The number of patients who were given social counseling and referred to a psychiatrist was 25 (37.9%). Family neglect and abuse were detected in 5 (7.6%) patients. Apart from these, it was observed that problems such as drug supply, financial support, ID application, home device supply assistance, care center approvals and child custody were solved in each 1 (1.5%) patient. Conclusion(s): The inclusion of social workers in the children's intensive care unit teams can also prevent many social problems that can be neglected otherwise. Physicians are more focused on patient treatment, so we believe that it will be beneficial to question the family and social status of patients together with a social service unit and specialists integrated into children's intensive care units.Copyright © 2022 Ankara Pediatric Hematology Oncology Training and Research Hospital. All rights reserved.


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Atakul G; Aslan K; Demircan TO; Ozhan P; Caglar A, “Social Workers in Pediatric Intensive Care Units: A Physician Perspective,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 24, 2024,