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The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work

Second Edition

Edited by Terry Altilio, Shirley Otis-Green, and John G. Cagle

Publication Date - June 2022

ISBN: 9780197537855

1008 pages
8 1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

A comprehensive, evidence-informed text that addresses the needs of professionals who provide interdisciplinary, culturally sensitive, biopsychosocial-spiritual care for patients and families living with life-threatening illness.


The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work is a comprehensive, evidence-informed text that provides clinicians, researchers, policy-makers, and academics with a broad range of content to inform and enhance palliative social work practice. This definitive resource brings together an array of more than 150 international authors and is edited by three leading palliative social work pioneers to address the needs of professionals providing interprofessional, culturally sensitive, biopsychosocial-spiritual care for patients and families living with serious illness. Social workers from diverse settings will benefit from the historical perspective and international scope as well as the wealth of patient and family narratives.

In keeping with the dynamic growth of the field over the last decade, this second edition offers a substantially deeper dive both conceptually and contextually into the more nuanced delivery of palliative social work. This edition includes additional chapters that reflect the increased integration of palliative social work across populations, diagnoses, and settings. Each chapter has been extensively updated integrating current evidence, with a section specifically devoted to interventions for the purpose of affirming the scope of social work palliative practice. A new preface highlights aspects of social-political inequity and injustice that informed the development, process, and ultimate content of this Text. International palliative social work practice is reflected by regional voices and highlighted by an exploration of the unique response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolved in their respective countries. Professional issues explore topics of mentoring, supervision, advocacy, leadership, certification, legacy, and resilience.

New to this Edition

  • Enhanced emphasis on the ethics and social justice aspects of healthcare provides context and understanding of equity in social work and palliative care
  • Includes additional chapters that reflect the increased integration of palliative social work across populations, diagnoses, and settings
  • Specific interventions detailed for social workers to build skills for effective practice
  • Updated learning experiences integrating patient and family narratives, use of technology, and relevant resources
  • A professional issues section expands topics of mentoring, supervision, advocacy, leadership, certification, legacy, and resilience
  • A chapter on COVID-19 highlighting the experiences of social workers around the world during a global pandemic


  • Cleverly organized around settings, populations, diagnoses, interventions which enhances readers' connections to the subject
  • Learning experiences are created by real life narratives, exercises, and resources link theory
  • Emphasis on the ethics and social justice aspects of healthcare provides context and understanding of equity in social work and palliative care situations
  • Provides readers a historical perspective and framework to enrich and inform future practice and policy
  • Specific interventions detailed for social workers to build skills for effective practice
  • Chapters written by international experts broaden readers' perspectives

About the Author(s)

Terry Altilio, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C is a social worker with 34 years of direct practice experience in palliative care most recently in the Division of Palliative Care at Mt Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. She teaches in graduate and post-masters social work programs, lectures nationally and internationally and authors publications which center the role of social work as a core discipline in the work of palliative care.

Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-CE, FNAP, FAOSW, is a palliative social work consultant, educator and researcher whose career focuses on transforming the delivery of care to more equitably address the symptoms and stress of serious illness. As Principal Investigator on studies with over $3.5 million in external funding, her work has been disseminated through more than 100 publications and 500 professional presentations. Shirley is a National Association of Social Workers Pioneer.

John G. Cagle, MSW, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. His research has been supported by both public and private entities, including the University of Maryland School of Social Work Financial Social Work Initiative, the Hospice Foundation of America, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the John A. Hartford Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Foundation for Care at the End of Life.

Table of Contents

    Susan Blacker
    Betty R. Ferrell
    Kathleen M. Foley
    George Handzo
    Matthew J. Loscalzo
    Diane E. Meier
    Russell K. Portenoy

    I. Converging Contexts of Care

    1. Centering the Lens of Social Justice
    Eucharia Borden, Meagan Lyon Leimena, and Bridget Sumser
    2. Health Equity in Palliative Care
    Tessa Jones, Frances Nedjat-Haiem, and Karen Bullock
    3. The Importance and Impact of Culture in Palliative Care
    Todd D. Becker and John G. Cagle
    4. Spirituality and Social Work Practice in Palliative Care
    Dona J. Reese, Holly Nelson-Becker, and Ann M. Callahan
    5. The Power of Language: Inviting Attention and Intention to Word Choice
    Terry Altilio and Anne Kelemen

    II. Historical Context-Bringing History Forward

    6. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The Evolving Identity of Palliative Social Workers
    Philip C. Higgins
    7. Social Work and Palliative Care-The Early History
    Dame Cicely Saunders
    8. Palliative Social Work: An Historical Perspective
    Bernice Catherine Harper

    III. Collaborative Contexts

    9. A Commitment to Collaborate: Challenges and Opportunities
    Jill Farabelli and Vickie Leff
    10. Walking across to Collaboration
    Terry Altilio

    IV. Person-Centered, Family-Focused Practice

    11. Interventions to Support Children and Adolescents during Parental Illness
    Katie Aliberti
    12. Social Work in Pediatric Palliative Care
    Barbara L. Jones, Stacy S. Remke, Rachel Carnahan-Metzger, and Farya Phillips
    13. Adolescents and Young Adults Living with Serious Illness
    Christabel K. Cheung and Lori Wiener
    14. LGBTQ Patient Palliative Care: A Queery into Quality of Life
    Charlie Blotner and Danae Dotolo
    15. Beyond Vulnerability: Enhancing Agency and Adapting Systems
    Sarah Gehlert and Teresa Moro
    16. A House Is Not a Home: Palliative Care with People Experiencing Homelessness
    Adam Schoenfarber and Pamela Adams
    17. Dying in a Foreign Land
    Iraida V. Carrion
    18. Palliative Care for Veterans
    Louisa Daratsos and Alba Lopez
    19. Palliative Social Work with Older Adults and Their Families
    Deborah Waldrop, Mercedes Bern-Klug, John G. Cagle, and Daniel S. Gardner

    V. Person-Centered, Family-Focused Practice across Diagnoses

    20. Person-Centered Practice in an Expanding Palliative Care Landscape
    Chris Onderdonk
    21. Palliative Social Work and Heart Failure
    Arden O'Donnell and Tracy Ng
    22. The Collaboration of Palliative Care and Oncology Social Work
    Annabelle Bitter and Malory Lee
    23. Dementia: Challenges and Opportunities across the Trajectory of Care
    Abigail Nathanson and Abigail L. Latimer
    24. Palliative Care in Chronic Kidney Disease
    Elizabeth B. Anderson and Teri Browne
    25. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Neurologic Disease: The Role for Palliative Social Work
    Judith Wood Mintz
    26. Palliative Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunities for Growth in the Face of Loss and Isolation
    Carina Oltmann and Sheri Mila Gerson
    27. Clinical Trials and the Role of Social Work
    Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc

    VI. Person-Centered, Family-Focused Practice across Settings

    28. Palliative Care Consultation
    Colleen M. Mulkerin, Katherine S. Lepak, and Sara Z. Morrison
    29. Palliative Social Work in the Emergency Department
    Robin Rudy Lawson and Maya Genovesi
    30. Palliative Social Work in the Intensive Care Unit
    Nina Laing
    31. Surviving the Intensive Care Unit
    Nina Laing and Anna Lewis
    32. Palliative Care in the Perinatal and Neonatal Setting
    Meagan Lyon Leimena and Rachel Rusch
    33. Outpatient Palliative Care: Walking the Path Together
    Anne Front
    34. Home-Based Palliative Care
    Kennan Moore, Christine Goldstein, and Jeanine Sanderoff
    35. Social Work in Hospice Care
    John G. Cagle and Rachel E. Brandon
    36. Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care: The Invaluable Role of Social Work
    Stacy F. Orloff
    37. Palliative and Hospice Care for Incarcerated Persons
    Katharine P. Supiano and Jamey Boudreaux
    38. Palliative Care in Long-Term Care Facilities
    Mercedes Bern-Klug, Kara A. Carter, and Kelsey Simons
    39. The Integration of Rehabilitative Therapies and Palliative Care
    Jennifer Schutt
    40. Palliative Social Work in Rural Communities
    Karla T. Washington and Christine M. Lero
    41. When Inner Cities Are Motivated by Compassion: The Role of Palliative Social Work
    Richard B. Francoeur and Kenneth R. Sergiacomi

    VII. Regional Voices from an International Perspective

    42. International Palliative Social Work
    Sheri Mila Gerson and Pam Firth
    43. Palliative Social Work: An African Perspective
    Jennifer Hunt and Valerie Maasdorp
    44. It Takes Two to Tango: The Social Worker and the Family in Palliative Care
    Elena D'Urbano
    45. Australian Palliative Social Work
    Patricia Collins, Julie Greathouse, Brendan Myhill, and Lauren Gough
    46. Social Work and Palliative Care in Brazil
    Lena Lansttai Bevilaqua Menezes and Leticia Andrade
    47. Palliative Social Work in Canada
    Susan Cadell and Harvey Bosma
    48. Culture- Sensitive Palliative Social Work with Chinese Populations
    Ming Ming Cheng and Cecilia Lai Wan Chan
    49. Palliative Care: An Indian Perspective
    Aarti Jagannathan, Srilatha Juvva, and Priya Treesa Thomas
    50. Palliative Social Work in Israel
    Tali Samson
    51. Culture, Social Determinants of Health, and Palliative Care in the Pacific Basin
    Lana Sue Ka'opua, Luana M. Y. Scanlan, and Yvonne Duhaylongsod Yim
    52. Palliative Social Work in Romania: New Perspectives
    Petruța Anania and Csaba László Dégi
    53. Palliative Social Work in Singapore
    Cheng Wan Peh and Tzer Wee Ng
    54. Palliative Social Work in Switzerland
    Marc-Antoine Berthod and Laetitia Probst-Barroso
    55. Palliative Social Work in the United Kingdom
    Becky Chaddock, Sally Paul, and Anne Cullen

    VIII. Interventions: Foundations of Palliative Social Work Practice

    56. Merging Research and Clinical Practice
    Tamara Cadet
    57. Families and Family Conferencing
    Iris Cohen Fineberg
    58. Family Caregivers in Palliative Care: Social Work Roles and Responsibilities
    Myra Glajchen and Christine Wilkins
    59. Mental Health Risk in Palliative Care: The Social Work Role
    Katherine Walsh and Susan Hedlund
    60. Connections and Context: Thinking Critically about Strengths, Resilience, and Growth
    Sheryl Lee Shermak and Susan Cadell
    61. Advance Directives from a Social Work Perspective: Influence of Culture and Family Dynamics
    Ramona Bullock-Johnson and Karen Bullock
    62. The Social Work Role in Pain and Symptom Management
    John G. Cagle and Terry Altilio
    63. Sexual Expression and Physical Intimacy for Those with Serious Illness
    Les Paul Gallo-Silver and Michael O. Weiner
    64. Holding On and Letting Go: The Red Thread of Adult Grief and Bereavement
    Susan Gerbino and Mary Raymer
    65. The Integration of Technology: Benefits and Challenges
    Katherine Campbell

    IX. Interventions: Supporting Effective Palliative Social Work Practice

    66. Interventions in Palliative Social Work Practice: The Intimate Connection with Assessment
    Anne Kelemen and Stacy S. Remke
    67. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Enhancing Psychological Flexibility in Serious Illness
    Kayla Moore
    68. Anticipatory Guidance
    Stephanie Gasca and Rachel Schindel
    69. Bibliotherapy
    Nancy F. Cincotta and Tracy Moore
    70. Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy in the Palliative Care Setting
    Carina Oltmann
    71. Care Coordination: Providing Quality Care, Reducing Costs and Unnecessary Utilization
    Rebecca Cammy and Lauren LaTourette
    72. Crisis Intervention
    Esther Ammon
    73. De-Escalating Highly Emotional or Potentially Violent Situations
    Kathleen Hurley
    74. The Doctor Within: Integrative Health, Social Work, and Palliative Care
    Lucia McBee
    75. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for Pain Management
    Yvette Colón
    76. Building the Complete Father Intervention
    Michael O. Weiner and Les Paul Gallo-Silver
    77. Bereavement in the Beginning Phase of Life: Grief in Children and Their Families
    Nancy F. Cincotta
    78. Practice Considerations: Group Work
    Nancy F. Cincotta
    79. Meaning- Centered Therapies: Reconnecting with Life
    Jordan Nichols
    80. Medical Crisis Counseling
    Clara Van Gerven
    81. Motivational Interviewing: A Person-Centered Model of Communication
    Jordan Nichols
    82. The Power of Narratives and Storytelling
    Cara L. Wallace
    83. Using Psychoeducation to Empower Patients, Their Families, and Care Partners
    Bessy Santiago
    84. Single- Session and Solution- Focused Brief Therapy
    Kasey Sinha
    85. Structured Problem-Solving Interventions for Patients with Serious Illness and Their Care Partners
    Rebecca Cammy and Lauren LaTourette
    86. Supportive Counseling
    William Michael Cooper
    87. Trauma Therapies for Palliative Care Practice
    Chelsea Brown
    88. Using Schema Therapy to Meet Needs in Palliative Care
    Lissa Parsonnet

    X. Ethical Considerations

    89. Ethical Considerations in Palliative Care: An Overview
    Wendy B. Walters
    90. Ethics in Medical Decision-Making: Exploring the Limits of Autonomy
    Tracy Borgmeyer
    91. Hospice and Palliative Social Work's Ethical Challenge: Aid in Dying in the United States
    Tracy Schroeper, Jaime Goldberg, and Stephanie Wladkowski
    92. Pediatric Palliative Care Ethics and Decision-Making
    Nicholas Purol and Danielle Jonas
    93. Technology and Ethics
    Christina Bach

    XI. Professional Issues

    94. Advancing the Social Work Profession within Palliative Care
    John G. Cagle
    95. Navigating in Swampy Lowlands: A Relational Approach to Practice-Based Learning in Palliative Care
    David M. Browning and Susan Gerbino
    96. The Influence of Policy on End-of-Life and Palliative Care
    Nancy Kusmaul
    97. The Evolution of Advanced Certification for Palliative and Hospice Social Workers
    Barbara Anderson Head and Alyssa Ashlyn Middleton
    98. Supervision and Mentoring for Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care
    Cathy Berkman, Carolyn Genereux, and Anne Front
    99. Professional Self-Care, Resilience, and Well-Being
    Colleen M. Mulkerin
    100. Self-Care Practice Wisdom: A Letter to My Younger Self
    Kerry Cox Irish
    101. Leadership in Palliative Social Work
    Cathy Berkman, Grace Christ, and Allison Shukraft
    102. Professionalism: Making Connections, Enhancing Knowledge, and Building Leadership
    Ellen L. Csikai, Barbara Jones, and Kendra D. Koch
    103. Building a Lasting Legacy: Reflections on Transformative Professionalism
    Shirley Otis-Green

    Terry Altilio.
    Rachel E. Brandon.
    John G. Cagle.
    Shirley Otis-Green.