Social Work - Research Publications

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    Migration and Settlement of African People in Australia
    Abur, W ; Muenstermann, I (IntechOpen, 2022-09-28)
    Australia is a country that hosts millions of migrants from different countries and continents. This chapter presents the migration history of African Australians and the settlement challenges encountered by these families and individuals. In the last two decades, there has been a growing number of African communities in Australia. African people migrate to Australia for many reasons, including job-seeking and civil wars caused by race, religion, nationality, and membership in particular social or political groups. In the 2020 census, over 400,000 people living in Australia recorded they were of African origin. This represents 1.6% of the Australian population and 5.1% of Australia’s overseas-born population. Most (58%) are white South Africans, but 42% are black Africans from sub-Saharan countries. Some people within these African populations did not settle well or adjust effectively to Australian society due to Australia’s predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture. Therefore, this chapter discusses migration and settlement issues faced by African community groups in Australia.
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    Do Social Media Impact Young Adult Mental Health and Well-Being? A Qualitative Study
    Dodemaide, P ; Merolli, M ; Hill, N ; Joubert, L (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2022-04-26)
    Abstract The Social Work profession recognises the ethical and educational implications of social media usage but remains cautious in embracing the technology in the context of clinical practice. Social media platforms allow their users to share thoughts, opinions, experiences, information, develop online communities and access social and emotional support. Social media-focused research in the mental health context has described the risk of vulnerable populations using social media. However, there is a dearth of research examining the lived experiences of young adult social media users or addressing both the perceived risks and benefits. Social Work clinicians need to understand the experience of clients and be able to respond to questions or challenges that service users using social media experience. Deploying inductive thematic content analysis, this study presents the qualitative findings of an online survey eliciting the experience of young adult social media users. Young adults reported varying perspectives, including preferences for anonymity, how social media is employed and consideration that specific platforms are either helpful or harmful. Results are discussed with consideration given to existing literature. This article contributes to the evidence-base for social work and other disciplines, allowing for a greater phenomenological understanding of young adults’ use of social media.
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    Effects of widespread community use of face masks on communication, participation, and quality of life in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Galvin, KL ; Tomlin, D ; Joubert, L ; Story, L (SPRINGER, 2022-10-01)
    The objective was to document the influence of face mask use by other people on communication experiences, participation in activities, and quality of life. Australian adults (n = 665) completed an online survey; 90.8% resided in a state with mandatory mask use outside the home and 44.1% self-reported hearing difficulties. Mask use was reported as negatively affecting communication quality in the community (90.2%) and workplace (91.8%), and with household members (59.1%), including an increased requirement for clarification and repetition, increased difficulty communicating, and decreased understanding. Masks influenced feelings when communicating in the community (74.1%) and workplace (76.7%), and with household members (43.6%), including increased fatigue and frustration, and decreased connection to others. Masks influenced the time spent communicating in the community (68.8%) and workplace (67.9%), and with household members (42.3%), including a decrease in the number of individuals communicated with, and the time spent communicating with each individual. Masks influenced participation in activities in the community (50.9%) and workplace (59.7%), and with household members (41.3%), including reduced participation in health-related activities, shopping, and socialising. Influences on quality of life included reduced physical and mental health, including increased loneliness. Female gender and greater self-reported hearing difficulties were significantly associated with increased influence of mask use. The wide-ranging influences of face mask use have implications for physical health and mental health, including social connectedness, and for employers and the economy. As an important measure for combatting disease spread, the negative impacts of mask use must be considered during policy formulation, and appropriate mitigating measures, such as educational campaigns, enacted.
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    "You can't swim well if there is a weight dragging you down": cross-sectional study of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and child abuse prevalence against Australian nurses, midwives and carers.
    McLindon, E ; Diemer, K ; Kuruppu, J ; Spiteri-Staines, A ; Hegarty, K (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-09-12)
    BACKGROUND: Domestic and family violence (DFV), including intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault and child abuse are prevalent health and social issues, often precipitating contact with health services. Nurses, midwives and carers are frontline responders to women and children who have experienced violence, with some research suggesting that health professionals themselves may report a higher incidence of IPV in their personal lives compared to the community. This paper reports the largest study of DFV against health professionals to date. METHOD: An online descriptive, cross-sectional survey of 10,674 women and 772 men members of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) (Victorian Branch). The primary outcome measures were 12-month and adult lifetime IPV prevalence (Composite Abuse Scale); secondary outcomes included sexual assault and child abuse (Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey) and prevalence of IPV perpetration (bespoke). RESULTS: Response rate was 15.2% of women/11.2% of men who were sent an invitation email, and 38.4% of women/28.3% of men who opened the email. In the last 12-months, 22.1% of women and 24.0% of men had experienced IPV, while across the adult lifetime, 45.1% of women and 35.0% of men had experienced IPV. These figures are higher than an Australian community sample. Non-partner sexual assault had been experienced by 18.6% of women and 7.1% of men, which was similar to national community sample. IPV survivors were 2-3 times more likely to have experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood compared to those without a history of IPV (women OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.4 to 2.9; men OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.0 to 4.1). Since the age of sixteen, 11.7% of men and 1.7% of women had behaved in a way that had made a partner or ex-partner feel afraid of them. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of intimate partner violence and child abuse in this group of nurses, midwives and carers suggests the need for workplace support programs. The findings support the theory that childhood adversity may be related to entering the nursing profession and has implications for the training and support of this group.
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    Assessing Older Community Members Using a Social Work Tool: Developing an Organizational Response.
    Ogrin, R ; Meyer, C ; Karantzoulis, A ; Santana, IJ ; Hampson, R (SAGE Publications, 2022-01)
    Social Worker's undertake psycho-social assessments and facilitate access to evidence-informed psychological and practical supports to optimize the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of the community members in their care. Social workers employed at an aged and community care organization undertook a review of the gray and peer reviewed literature and did not identify any existing evidence-based tools. However, 10 key domains were identified from the search. Gaps in the domains were discovered, together with the need for guidance and prompts for less experienced staff and students. Five Social Workers, using co-design principles, reviewed the domains, and added further domains from their social work practice. An evidence-based assessment tool was developed which incorporated 11 domains. The tool can be used to assess the needs of people living in the community who are older and/or have compromised health and wellbeing. Further work is required to pilot test the tool.
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    FASE-family and social engagement model for prevention and management of self harm behavior-a study protocol for cluster randomized control trial in India.
    Devassy, SM ; Scaria, L ; Benny, AM ; Cheguvera, N ; Varghese, J ; Joubert, L (Frontiers Media SA, 2022)
    Background: Suicide is a substantial public health concern for countries worldwide. Effective preventive and curative interventions for self-harm behavior (SHB) are imperative for nations with an alarmingly high rate of suicide and self-harm behaviors. The intervention protocol named FASE (Family and Social Engagement) consists of comprehensive assessment, Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT), and community linkages for people presenting with suicide or self-harm in emergency departments of tertiary hospitals. Methods: This article reports the design and protocol for a cluster randomized control trial for suicide prevention and management. After the developed intervention is pilot tested in a tertiary hospital in Kerala, the intervention will be scaled up to be implemented in various tertiary hospitals in Kerala. Each hospital emergency department will be considered a cluster, and these clusters will be randomized to the intervention group and control group in a 1:1 ratio. The eligible people from the intervention clusters will undergo a baseline assessment, a structured moderate intense intervention with twelve sessions spread across 6 months by the trained social workers supervised by the Mental health team, and a follow-up assessment at the end. Participants will be recruited after obtaining consent and explaining the study. The primary outcome includes suicidality measured by the Depressive Symptom Inventory-Suicidality Subscale (DSI-SS), Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), MOS Social Support Survey, and Brief resilience scale (BRS). Discussion: Knowledge generated from this trial can significantly affect new programmatic policy and clinical guidelines that will improve the reduction of suicide rates in the country. Trial registration: Prospectively registered in Clinical Trial Registry India (ICMR-NIMS) on 18/10/2021 (ref number- REF/2021/10/048264).
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    Regional Research-Practice-Policy Partnerships in Response to Climate-Related Disparities: Promoting Health Equity in the Pacific
    Palinkas, LA ; O'Donnell, M ; Kemp, S ; Tiatia, J ; Duque, Y ; Spencer, M ; Basu, R ; Del Rosario, KI ; Diemer, K ; Doma, B ; Forbes, D ; Gibson, K ; Graff-Zivin, J ; Harris, BM ; Hawley, N ; Johnston, J ; Lauraya, F ; Maniquiz, NEF ; Marlowe, J ; McCord, GC ; Nicholls, I ; Rao, S ; Saunders, AK ; Sortino, S ; Springgate, B ; Takeuchi, D ; Ugsang, J ; Villaverde, V ; Wells, KB ; Wong, M (MDPI, 2022-08-01)
    Although climate change poses a threat to health and well-being globally, a regional approach to addressing climate-related health equity may be more suitable, appropriate, and appealing to under-resourced communities and countries. In support of this argument, this commentary describes an approach by a network of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers dedicated to promoting climate-related health equity in Small Island Developing States and low- and middle-income countries in the Pacific. We identify three primary sets of needs related to developing a regional capacity to address physical and mental health disparities through research, training, and assistance in policy and practice implementation: (1) limited healthcare facilities and qualified medical and mental health providers; (2) addressing the social impacts related to the cooccurrence of natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies; and (3) building the response capacity and resilience to climate-related extreme weather events and natural hazards.
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    AYA 'Can-Sleep' programme: protocol for a stepped-care, cognitive behavioural therapy-based approach to the management of sleep difficulties in adolescents and young adults with cancer.
    Vaughan, E ; Ftanou, M ; Lewin, J ; Murnane, A ; Berger, I ; Wiley, JF ; Hickey, M ; Bullen, D ; Jefford, M ; Goldin, J ; Stonehouse, J ; Thompson, K (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-07-28)
    BACKGROUND: Sleep problems are reported in up to 50% of adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is considered the gold-standard treatment. In the AYA population, CBTi is associated with improvements in insomnia, daytime sleepiness, fatigue and quality of life. In adults, stepped-care interventions can improve accessibility to CBTi. This study aims to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a stepped-care CBTi programme in AYA with cancer. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: AYA (target N = 80) aged 16-25 with a diagnosis of cancer will be screened using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). When sleep difficulties are identified by the ISI and/or ESS, they will be screened for obstructive sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome and referred to a sleep service if indicated. The remainder with sleep difficulties will be offered a stepped-care sleep programme including CBT self-management and coaching (first step). Participants will then be rescreened at 5 weeks, and those with ongoing sleep difficulties will be offered individualised CBT (second step). Recruitment and retention rates, adherence to intervention and time taken to deliver screening and intervention will be collected to assess the feasibility of the programme. AYA and clinicians will complete evaluation surveys to assess the acceptability of the AYA Can-Sleep programme. DISCUSSION: We seek to contribute to the evidence base regarding screening and treatment of sleep difficulties in the AYA population by implementing the AYA Can-Sleep programme and determining its feasibility and acceptability as an approach to care in an Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service.
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    Women's experiences and expectations of intimate partner abuse identification in healthcare settings: a qualitative evidence synthesis
    Korab-Chandler, E ; Kyei-Onanjiri, M ; Cameron, J ; Hegarty, K ; Tarzia, L (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-07-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To explore women's experiences and expectations of intimate partner abuse (IPA) disclosure and identification in healthcare settings, focusing on the process of disclosure/identification rather than the healthcare responses that come afterwards. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies DATA SOURCES: Relevant studies were sourced by using keywords to search the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, SocINDEX and ASSIA in September 2021. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies needed to focus on women's views about IPA disclosure and identification in healthcare settings, use qualitative methods and have been published in the last 5 years. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Relevant data were extracted into a customised template. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist for qualitative research was used to assess the methodological quality of included studies. A thematic synthesis approach was applied to the data, and confidence in the findings was appraised using The Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research methods. RESULTS: Thirty-four studies were included from a range of healthcare settings and countries. Three key themes were generated through analysing their data: (1) Provide universal education, (2) Create a safe and supportive environment for disclosure and (3) It is about how you ask. Included papers were rated overall as being of moderate quality, and moderate-high confidence was placed in the review findings. CONCLUSIONS: Women in the included studies articulated a desire to routinely receive information about IPA, lending support to a universal education approach that equips all women with an understanding of IPA and options for assistance, regardless of disclosure. Women's suggestions for how to promote an environment conducive to disclosure and how to enquire about IPA have clear implications for clinical practice.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42018091523.
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    Family-centred care for children with traumatic brain injury and/or spinal cord injury: a qualitative study of service provider perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Pollock, A ; D'Cruz, K ; Scheinberg, A ; Botchway, E ; Harms, L ; Amor, DJ ; Anderson, V ; Bonyhady, B ; Knight, S (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-06-01)
    OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 has led to rapid changes in rehabilitation service provision for young people living with traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury. The aim of this project was to understand the experiences of rehabilitation service providers during the acute response stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we aimed to identify innovative approaches to meeting the ongoing needs of young people with traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury during this time. SETTING: This study was conducted at a research institute and involved remote interviews with key informants around Australia and internationally. PARTICIPANTS: Key informants from 11 services supporting children and/or adolescents with traumatic brain injury and/or spinal cord injury were interviewed using a semistructured interview guide. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three key themes emerged: (1) recognising and responding to the experiences of families during the pandemic, (2) the impact of greater use of telehealth on care delivery, and (3) realising opportunities to enhance family-centred care. CONCLUSIONS: These themes capture shifting perspectives and process changes relevant to longer term practice. Research findings suggest opportunities for future service development, enabling service delivery that is more family centred, flexible and efficient in meeting the needs of families. Understanding these experiences and the changed nature of service delivery provides important insights with implications for future service improvement.