Social Work Theory

Minority groups in the United States carry a significant and disproportionate burden of specific diseases. For example, while African Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population, this group accounted for 44% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the United States in 2010 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013). In 2010, Hispanics were 1.2 times (Office of Minority Health, 2012) more likely to be obese and almost 2 times (Office of Minority Health, 2013) more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

There has been much discussion about the type of effective interventions for promoting well-being and improving health outcomes in all Americans, especially for minority groups. Medical social workers excel at providing direct services to individual patients. Given current efforts to shift the paradigm to population-centered interventions, social workers must modify their skills, broaden their perspective, and consider evidence-based interventions.

To prepare for this Assignment, select a public health issue of interest to you (e.g., obesity, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental health).

In a 5- to 7-page report: Use whichever issue you prefer.

  • Describe the specific population(s) (ethnic or racial group, homosexuals, veterans, women, children, adolescents, etc.) affected by the health issue you selected. Explain how this population is discriminately affected by the health issue you selected.
  • Explain the primary determinants of the health issue. Then, explain how these determinants contribute to the disparities in care for the population.
  • Explain what specific social work interventions you might implement to address this health issue, reduce or eliminate disparities, and improve health outcomes.
  • Identify some challenges you may encounter when implementing the interventions. Then, explain the strategies you might employ to address these challenges.
  • Explain the advocacy roles a medical social worker might play in addressing the disparities in health care for the health issues and population you selected.
  • Cite your response using external scholarly resources.

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