Creating social work competencies for practice in hospice palliative care

Palliat Med. 2010 Jan;24(1):79-87. doi: 10.1177/0269216309346596. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Social workers play an important role in the delivery of Hospice Palliative Care in many diverse settings. The profession brings a unique perspective to end-of-life care that reflects and supports the holistic philosophy of Hospice Palliative Care. Despite the prominent and longstanding position of social work in this area, the role and functions of social workers had not been clearly defined. A Canadian task group of social work practitioners and educators utilized a modified Delphi process to consult front line clinicians nationally, and thereby achieved consensus regarding the identification and description of eleven core competencies in Hospice Palliative Care. These competencies are relevant for social workers at different experience levels across care settings. They can be used to inform social work practice, as well as professional development and educational curricula in this area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Educational Measurement / standards
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Palliative Care*
  • Professional Role*
  • Social Work / education*