A social work approach in high-tech neurosurgery and social work research approaches in health care
Authors: Pritchard, C.
Psychiatric social work is inherently inter-disciplinary with an interactive bio-psycho-social model of behaviour. This chapter mainly focuses upon an innovative study in neurosurgery. Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a life-threatening condition and survivors are often left with serious cognitive impairment. Patients and their carers led the design of a two-year controlled prospective study of a patient and family support service, using the Specialist Neurovascular Nurse (SNVN) to speed rehabilitation and family readjustment. Cost-effective measures found the SNVN group gained significant psychosocial and fiscal benefits when compared to the control group, thus highlighting the effectiveness of a social work approach in neurosurgery. Other studies in healthcare, including surgical patient safety, effectiveness in reducing mortality, cultural influence on suicide rates and implications for prevention, and the implications of the changing patterns of neurological mortality in Western nations, are briefly described.