Tackling inequalities in physical health

A new objective for social work

Eileen McLeod, Paul Bywaters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We argue that tackling the impact of social inequality on physical health should become a central objective of social work and intrinsic to the development of anti-oppressive practice. This is on three grounds. First, the suffering embodied in inequality in physical health should be a cause of concern to social workers, as a pervasive social problem. Secondly, awareness of social work's complicity in contributing to such a problem, through its historical role in implementing state policies, needs to inform assessment of social work outcomes. Nevertheless, thirdly, social work - not confined to health care settings - which redresses social disadvantage and tackles it consequences for physical well-being can contribute to greater equity in health. Indicative examples of such practice are provided in relation to health maintenance, living with ill health and terminal illness. Finally, consideration is given to the current wider political context in which social work addressing health inequalities is embedded and to the need for complementary organizational, professional and political initiatives to buttress its development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-565
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Social Work
social work
Health
health
Complicity
Social Problems
Psychological Stress
social problem
social inequality
social worker
equity
Delivery of Health Care
illness
well-being
health care
cause

Cite this

@article{edfb0034fcc34de89363384897651b53,
title = "Tackling inequalities in physical health: A new objective for social work",
abstract = "We argue that tackling the impact of social inequality on physical health should become a central objective of social work and intrinsic to the development of anti-oppressive practice. This is on three grounds. First, the suffering embodied in inequality in physical health should be a cause of concern to social workers, as a pervasive social problem. Secondly, awareness of social work's complicity in contributing to such a problem, through its historical role in implementing state policies, needs to inform assessment of social work outcomes. Nevertheless, thirdly, social work - not confined to health care settings - which redresses social disadvantage and tackles it consequences for physical well-being can contribute to greater equity in health. Indicative examples of such practice are provided in relation to health maintenance, living with ill health and terminal illness. Finally, consideration is given to the current wider political context in which social work addressing health inequalities is embedded and to the need for complementary organizational, professional and political initiatives to buttress its development.",
author = "Eileen McLeod and Paul Bywaters",
year = "1999",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/bjsw/29.4.547",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "547--565",
journal = "British Journal of Social Work",
issn = "0045-3102",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "4",

}

Tackling inequalities in physical health : A new objective for social work. / McLeod, Eileen; Bywaters, Paul.

In: British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 29, No. 4, 01.08.1999, p. 547-565.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tackling inequalities in physical health

T2 - A new objective for social work

AU - McLeod, Eileen

AU - Bywaters, Paul

PY - 1999/8/1

Y1 - 1999/8/1

N2 - We argue that tackling the impact of social inequality on physical health should become a central objective of social work and intrinsic to the development of anti-oppressive practice. This is on three grounds. First, the suffering embodied in inequality in physical health should be a cause of concern to social workers, as a pervasive social problem. Secondly, awareness of social work's complicity in contributing to such a problem, through its historical role in implementing state policies, needs to inform assessment of social work outcomes. Nevertheless, thirdly, social work - not confined to health care settings - which redresses social disadvantage and tackles it consequences for physical well-being can contribute to greater equity in health. Indicative examples of such practice are provided in relation to health maintenance, living with ill health and terminal illness. Finally, consideration is given to the current wider political context in which social work addressing health inequalities is embedded and to the need for complementary organizational, professional and political initiatives to buttress its development.

AB - We argue that tackling the impact of social inequality on physical health should become a central objective of social work and intrinsic to the development of anti-oppressive practice. This is on three grounds. First, the suffering embodied in inequality in physical health should be a cause of concern to social workers, as a pervasive social problem. Secondly, awareness of social work's complicity in contributing to such a problem, through its historical role in implementing state policies, needs to inform assessment of social work outcomes. Nevertheless, thirdly, social work - not confined to health care settings - which redresses social disadvantage and tackles it consequences for physical well-being can contribute to greater equity in health. Indicative examples of such practice are provided in relation to health maintenance, living with ill health and terminal illness. Finally, consideration is given to the current wider political context in which social work addressing health inequalities is embedded and to the need for complementary organizational, professional and political initiatives to buttress its development.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033449649&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/bjsw/29.4.547

DO - 10.1093/bjsw/29.4.547

M3 - Review article

VL - 29

SP - 547

EP - 565

JO - British Journal of Social Work

JF - British Journal of Social Work

SN - 0045-3102

IS - 4

ER -