Title page for ETD etd-04102007-181504


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hebert, Corie Gail
Author's Email Address corie.hebert@selu.edu
URN etd-04102007-181504
Title An Examination of the Presence of Social Work Intervention with Home Health Care Recipients and Related Home Health Care Outcomes
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Social Work
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Timothy F. Page Committee Chair
Brij Mohan Committee Member
Pamela Monroe Committee Member
Priscilla Allen Committee Member
Michael F. Burnett Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • healthcare social work
  • home health services
  • medical social work
  • home health care outcomes
  • social work outcomes
Date of Defense 2007-03-29
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The study was prompted by the need for a social work response to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the home health care arena as a result of managed care policies. Social work has been part of home health care since its inception, but the current cost constrained market threatens the viability of social work in providing servies to elderly, ill, homebound individuals.

Medicare home health care benefits have traditionally enabled many elderly individuals to live independently in thier communities. However, passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which mandated the use of a Prospective Payment System for services reimbursement, has altered the delivery of home health services for many individuals (Liu, Long & Dowling, 2003). As a result, the focus on patient outcomes and the delivery of cost effective quality care has intensified.

The study examines the nature of social work services provided in the home health care arena and the relationship between home health care recipient outcomes and a variety of functional and demographic variables as well as social work services. The study utilizes final disposition at discharge from home health care services, and the length of time a recipient is maintained in the community setting through the delivery of home health care services as outcome measures. The key variables of interest are the presence of social work services, the patient's functional status, caregiver status, and the demographic variables age, race and gender.

The study is exploratory in nature. It identifies descriptive characteristics of the sample of home health care recipients who received home health care services from one home health care company located in South Central Lousisiana between January 1, 1999 and January 1, 2005. It explores the nature of social work intervention following the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Unfortunately, the study results indicated that social work services have become very limited in scope. The major findings indicated that the patient's ability to ambulate independently was a good predictor of his or her ability to remain in the community. They also indicated that the patient's ability to prepare for and plan meals was the only variable to influence the number of days the patient received home care services. Implications for social work are discussed.

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