U.S. Providers' Perceptions of the Psychosocial Needs of Seriously Ill Patients of South Asian Origin: Implications for Health Social Work

Karla T. Washington, Nidhi Khosla, Christi Lero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The number of individuals of South Asian origin receiving health care in the United States is rapidly growing, yet little is known about their psychosocial needs. To better inform the provision of culturally competent social work services for this patient population, researchers sought to describe U.S. health care providers' perceptions of the psychosocial needs of seriously ill patients of South Asian origin. To do so, they conducted a multimethod qualitative descriptive study, collecting data during focus groups and individual interviews of health care providers (N = 57) and analyzing them via directed content analysis. Identified patient needs included addressing financial and legal problems, challenges completing activities of daily living, spiritual or existential concerns, psychosocial experiences of unresolved physical symptoms, and psychological distress. Providers also emphasized the importance of supporting patients' family members to aid in their caregiving abilities and to enhance their quality of life. As social workers in U.S. health care settings encounter a growing number of patients of South Asian origin, a more comprehensive understanding of their psychosocial needs is imperative. Study findings suggest that health social workers should provide psychosocial care that encompasses culture-specific needs and psychosocial care that can be provided in a culturally responsive manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 9 2019

Keywords

  • South Asians
  • culture
  • health care providers
  • psychosocial needs
  • social work

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