Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Graduate Courses

SOWK 614: Clinical Social Work Practice in Health Care

Credit Hours



Methods of clinical social work practice in health care are studied within the framework of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective. This course expands upon the foundation content of the Human Behavior in the Social Environment courses and Practice sequences and Field Education courses. The components of bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessments and interventions are expanded to include understanding of medical concerns, physical function, medical treatment, and the socio-cultural meanings ascribed to illness. Focus also will be directed to issues such as strategies for coping with illness, self-concept, identity formation, and the impact of illness on family relationships.

Critical thinking skills will be developed through the application of theories of human behavior to interventions with individual and families in which illness is a primary concern. Examples of theories to be considered include developmental, systems, and ecological theories. The application of developmental theory is introduced as a framework for understanding the impact of illness on psychosocial functioning over the life cycle with special attention directed to the beliefs and practices of diverse cultures, races, and spiritual orientations. A systems framework will be used to understand how changes in the health status in one member/subsystem of a family or community have implications for the other members/subsystems. Narrative theory is applied in the understanding of how the meaning of illness is constructed by individuals and families in a variety of contexts.