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Social work in somatic and psychiatric care, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Socialt arbete inom somatisk och psykiatrisk vård

This syllabus is valid: 2020-06-01 and until further notice

Course code: 2SA072

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Social Work: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Social Work

Revised by: Head of Department of Social Work, 2020-06-10


The course focuses on the special conditions and practice methods which are relevant for social work within health care settings and even services directed to individuals with mental illness or psychiatric impairments in the community. Social work as a relation-based practice, and the interactions between clients and the meeting they receive within various parts of the health care system will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the Swedish health and welfare system, as well as the context within which patients and clients experience somatic and mental health-related distress.

The content of the course is divided into three parts; 1) A brief introduction to the historic background of and the organisational and legal structures which influence social work in health care settings, as well as introducing the phenomenon of medicalization. 2) A closer look at the roles which social workers play in working in health care settings addressing complex medical conditions as well as a model for supporting change processes in counseling oriented social work 3) The situation for, and services directed to people with mental illness or mental health problems.

Part one is a briefer introduction and attempts to tie together the two following and more developed sections by investigating the professional development of social work in health care as opposed to social welfare settings. In addition to presenting factors that contribute to change processes at the client/patient level, section two focuses on a number of central areas for hospital social work in cases where chronic or serious illnesses create complex problems that involve a number of social and illness-related needs. Professional, as well as patient perspectives are touched upon here. The third section begins by developing concepts used in understanding mental illness and mental health as well as the manner in which services are organized for this group in health and welfare systems in Sweden and internationally. The fields of community mental health and social psychiatry are in focus here. Critical perspectives on the structure and role of psychiatry are reviewed. Additional concepts in mental health care including stigma and societal attitudes, carer and user perspectives, meetings and relationships with clients, psychiatric rehabilitation, knowledge of how people recover and empowerment are addressed. Finally, these broad understandings of the field are connected to the current methods that are being researched and implemented internationally and in Sweden, including supported employment/education, case management and shared decision-making.

Together with the specific content related to developments in psychiatry and social psychiatry the relationship between scientific knowledge and our attempts to develop practice and concrete solutions, how personal experience and individuality influence practice, and our ability to critically evaluate research in the area, is discussed.

Expected learning outcomes

Following the completion of the course the student should be able to;

* Demonstrate knowledge of how the historical development and organization of health care services influences possibilities for social work practice in health care and mental health/psychiatric services.
* Describe and analyze laws/legislation relevant to social work within health care services in Sweden.
* Critically reflect over international/anglo-saxon perspectives on social work in health care in relation to the Swedish context.´
* Independently and critically analyze social work in health care services with special emphasis on complex problems and those related to chronic illness.
* Describe and independently apply central concepts in professional contacts with clients/patients.
* Discuss conditions for change processes and different forms of counseling-oriented social work
* Independently reflect over your own role in client-centered social work
* Describe and analyze developments in the field of health and mental health.
* Analyze conceptual formulations with regard to mental illness and mental health
* Analyze critical perspectives related to the development and role of the psychiatric care and support system
* Describe and analyze issues related to attitudes to and stigma regarding mental illness
* Describe and analyze a carer and user perspective in relation to mental illness
* Demonstrate advanced knowledge regarding establishing contacts and relationships with individuals experiencing mental illness
* Describe and critically analyze knowledge related to recovery and empowerment with regard to mental illness
* Describe and critically evaluate current interventions targeted to people with mental illness

Required Knowledge

A minimum of 90 ECTS within  the social sciences education in one of the following: Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Peace and conflict studies, pedagogic, Gender Studies, Economic and social geography, Political science, Law/legal Science or in other courses that are considered equal to thus above, including an individual essay carrying at least 15 credits or 90 ECTS within nursing including an individual essay carrying at least 15 credits.. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5 or comparable is also required

Form of instruction

The course is based on lectures, group meetings and seminars on campus, with some aspects of online teaching. The students prepare themselves individually or in groups prior to lectures, seminars or presentations by reading the literature and participating in group discussions. It is especially important to attend the lectures since much of the knowledge related to the nature of the Swedish health and mental health service system will be presented there as opposed to the readings.

Examination modes

The course is examined in seven partial assignments, four written, individual assignments and three which are examined individually through active participation in mandatory seminars.

The first section of the course is examined in assignment 1, section 2 in assignments 2 and 3, plus a training seminar, and section 3 with assignment 4 in addition to the literature and two training seminars.

Assignment 1 is a written take-home test which requires the student to individually and in writing, discuss and apply central concepts in the literature as well as relevant legislation and is graded as pass/fail.

Assignment 2 is a written take-home test which requires the student to individually and in writing, discuss and apply central concepts in the literature and is graded as pass with distinction/pass/fail.

Assignment 3 is a written take-home test which requires the student to individually and in writing, reflect over a case from the counseling oriented social work addressed in the course and is graded as pass/fail.

Assignment 4 is a written take-home test which requires the student to individually and in writing, discuss and apply central concepts in the literature and reflect over a case involving mental illness. This assignment is graded as pass with distinction/pass/fail.

In addition to the written examinations the course includes three mandatory seminars. Two of them are training seminars based on the cases presented in the written assignments. The third is a literature seminar. In order to pass the course, the student must receive a passing grade on all the assignments. In order to pass with distinction (VG) the requirement is to receive a pass with distinction on both assignments 3 and 4.

Students who do not pass at the ordinary examination times have a right to a retest, within 2 months. A student who does meet the requirements for a passing grade but who is close to the level, can following a decision from the examinator, be given the opportunity to complete their work in order to receive a passing grade.

Completions for the exam will be individually adapted based on the goals which have been achieved by the student and should take place within 2 weeks after the student has been informed of the exam result, but prior to the next examination time.

Written assignments should be in accordance with academically accepted forms and must be of a good linguistic standard.

Completed exams can only ´reach the grade of pass, not pass with distinction, completing to receive a higher grade than pass is not permitted. If the student wishes, they have the option of doing the retest as a means of reaching a higher grade.

If the student has a certificate of special pedagogical support, the examiner has the right to decide on an adjusted form of examination.

Other regulations

Students have the right to apply to have a previous education or experience evaluated for transfer of credits. For more information, see:


Valid from: 2020 week 23

Conrad Peter
Medicalization and Social Control
Annual Review of Sociology Vol 18:209-232 : 1992 :
Annual Review of Sociology Vol 18

Conrad Peter
The Shifting Engines of Medicalization
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 46, 3-14, 2005 :

Marmot M
Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health
Lancet, 372: 1661–69 : 2008 :

Smith R
In search of “non-disease”
BMJ 324:883-5 : 2002 :

Admitted into a helping plan’ – a watershed between positive and negative experiences in breast cancer
Lilliehorn S, Hamberg K, Kero A, Salander P
Psycho-Oncology 2010;19:806-812 :

Persuation and Healing
Frank JD, Frank JB
London, John Hopkins University Press, p. 1-184. : 1993 :

A nationwide study of Swedish Oncology social workers: Characteristics, clinical function and perceived barriers to optimal functioning
Isaksson J, Lilliehorn S, Salander P
Social Work in Health Care : 2017 :

Hospital Social Work: Contemporary Roles and Professional Activities
Judd RG, Sheffield S
Social Work in Health Care, 2010;49:856-871 : 2010 :

Lalos Ann
Breaking bad news concerning fertility
Included in:
Human reproduction
Oxford : IRL P. : 1986- :

Miller Lisa
Counselling skills in social work
Sage : 2012 :

The relationship and its relationship to the common and specific factors of psychotherapy.
Wampold BE, Budge SL
The Councelling Psychologist, 2012;40(4):601-623 : 2012 :

Doctor’s communication of trust, care and respect in breast cancer: qualitative study
Wright EB, Holcombe S, Salmon P
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Kemshall Hazel
Risk, social policy and welfare
Buckingham : Open University Press : 2002 : viii, 159 s.. :
ISBN: 0-335-20409-0 (pbk) ; £15.99 : CIP entry (Dec.)
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Establishment of community mental health systems in a postdeinstitutional era: A study of organizational structures and service provision in Sweden
Markström U, Lindqvist R
Journal of social work in disability & rehabilitation, 14(2), 124-144. : 2015 :

Pushing the envelope: shared decision making in mental health
Curtis L.C, Wells S.M, Penney D.J, Ghose S.S, Mistler L.A, Mahone I.H, Lesko S
Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 34(1), 14. : 2010 :

A sociology of mental health and illness
Rogers Anne, Pilgrim David
3rd ed. : Maidenhead : Open University Press : 2005 : x viii, 269 s. :
ISBN: 0-335-21583-1 (pbk.)
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Rosqvist H. B.
Practice, practice: Notions of adaptation and normality among adults with Asperger syndrome
Disability Studies Quarterly, 32(2) : 2012 :

Rûsch, Angermeyer, Corrigan
Mental Illness stigma:concepts, consequences and initiatives to reduce stigma
European Psychiatry 20 (8) 2005 :

Making recovery a reality
Shepherd Geoff, Boardman Jed, Slade Mike
Sainsbury centre for mental health (2008) :

Tew Jerry
Going Social: championing a holistic model of mental distress within professional education
Social Work Education, 21 (2), 143-155 : 2002 :

The principles of effective case management of mental health services
Psychiatric rehabilitation journal 27,4 p 319-333, 2004 :

Components of a modern mental health service: a pragmatic balance of community and hospital care - overview of systematic evidence
Thornicroft Graham, Tansella Michele
Brittish Journal of Psychiatry 185, 283-290 : 2004 :

Uses and abuses of recovery: implementing recovery‐oriented practices in mental health systems
Slade M, Amering M, Farkas M, Hamilton B, O´Hagan M, Panther G, Whitley R
World Psychiatry, 13(1), 12-20 : 2014 :

Rönnberg Lena
Hälso- och sjukvårdsrätt
3. uppl. : Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2011 : 368 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-44-05831-3
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Socialt arbete : en grundbok
Meeuwisse Anna, Sunesson Sune, Swärd Hans
2., [rev. och utök.] utg. : Stockholm : Natur och kultur : 2006 :
ISBN: 91-27-10762-0 (inb.)
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Counselling : stödsamtal i socialt arbete
Larsson Sam, Trygged Sven
1. uppl. : Stockholm : Gothia : 2010 : 271 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-7205-668-8
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Home abortion - experiences of male involvement
Kero Anneli, Lalos Ann, Wulff Marianne
European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care 15(4) : 2010 :

Home abortion implies redical changes for women
Kero Anneli, Lalos Ann, Wulff Marianne
European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 14(5) : 2009 :

Lalos Ann
Breaking bad news concerning fertility
Included in:
Human reproduction
Oxford : IRL P. : 1986- :

Salander Pär
Den kreativa illusionen : om cancersjukdom och anhöriga - om utsatthet och bemötande
Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2003 : 196 s. :
ISBN: 91-44-02930-6
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Allgulander Christer
Introduktion till klinisk psykiatri. Andra upplagan
Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2008 : 286 s. :
ISBN: 91-44-03538-1
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Rehabilitering och stöd till återhämtning vid psykiska funktionshinder : möjlighetens metoder för en ny praktik
Bogarve Camilla, Ershammar David, Rosenberg David
1. uppl. : Stockholm : Gothia : 2012 : 285 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-7205-787-6
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Begrepp, mätmetoder och förekomst av psykisk hälsa, psyksik ohälsa och psykiatrisa tillstånd : en kunskapsöversikt
Bremberg Sven, Dalman Christina
Stockholm : Forte : 2015 : 52 s. :

Introduction. Worlds of autism: across the spectrum of neurological difference
Davidson , Orsini
Minneapolis, University of Minnesota : 2013 :

Hansson Lars
Psykisk ohälsa - attityder, kunskap, beteende [Elektronisk resurs] : en befolkningsundersökning 2009
Johanneshov : Handisam : 2010 : 50 s. :

Individanpassat stöd till arbete enligt IPS-modellen-vägledning för arbetscoacher
Socialstyrelsen, Stockholm : 2012 :

Johansson Anna
Låt dom aldrig slå ner dig. Bloggen som arena för patientaktivism
Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift nr 3 2013 : 2013 :

Johannesson Karin
Om begreppet kultursjukdom
Läkartidningen, Vol 105, nr 44 : 2008 :

Socialstyrelsen, dronten och den evidensbaserade praktiken
Bergmark , Lundström
SVT 2011, 18, 3, 244-251 : 2011 :

Eduards Maud
Kroppspolitik : om moder Svea och andra kvinnor
[Ny utg.] : Stockholm : Atlas : 2012 : 320 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-7389-925-3
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Kero Anneli
Abort - en tabubelagd rättighet : kvinnors mångbottnade upplevelser rymmer både lättnad och smärta
Included in:
Stockholm : Sveriges läkarförbund : 1965- :

Överraskande förmåga att hantera cancerbesked
Salander P, Bergenheim AT, Henriksson R
Läkartidningen 1999; 96: 1040-1043 :

Socialt arbete i hälso- och sjukvård
Blom Björn, Morén Stefan, Lalos Ann, Olsson Marianne
Stockholm: Natur och kultur : 2013 :

Att leva med psykisk funktionsnedsättning : livssituation och effektiva vård- och stödinsatser
Brunt David, Hansson Lars
2., [rev.] uppl. : Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2014 : 398 s. :
ISBN: 9789144083872
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Psykisk ohälsa i Stockholms län
Dalman Christina, Forsell Yvonne, Magnusson Cecilia
Stockholm : Stockholms läns landsting : [2011] : 17 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-980034-0-6
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Folkhälsan i Sverige - Årsrapport 2014
Folkhälsomyndigheten : 2014 :

Psykiska funktionshinder i samhället : aktörer, insatser, reformer
Lindqvist Rafael, Markström Urban, Rosenberg David
2. uppl. : Malmö : Gleerup : 2014 : 208 s. :
ISBN: 9789140688392
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Återgång i arbete : processer, bedömningar, åtgärder
Ekberg Kerstin, Eklund Mona, Hensing Gunnel
1. uppl. : Lund : Studentlitteratur : 2015 : 233 s. :
ISBN: 9789144078236
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