Impact of social work on recidivism and non-medical complaints in the emergency department

Soc Work Health Care. 1994;20(1):65-75. doi: 10.1300/J010v20n01_08.


Recidivism among patients treated in the hospital Emergency Department (ED) is a significant factor in resource depletion. This study substantiates the efficacy of social work intervention in the ED using recidivism as an outcome measure. Data was collected on all patients seen by social work during the first 12 months of social work services to the ED between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The greatest decline in recidivism occurred where social work used a proactive intervention strategy as opposed to a more support oriented intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Misuse*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Michigan
  • Patient Care Team
  • Social Work*
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Triage