Explain the specific information a social worker needs to gather during this assessment
The biopsychosocial model focuses on the interactions between the “bio,” “psycho,” and “social” aspects of an illness. To illustrate the relationship between the “bio” and “psycho,” consider diabetes and depression. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, studies show that depression and diabetes might be linked (National Institutes of Health, 2011). The everyday stress of managing diabetes may contribute to the development of depression. At the same time, depression may reduce overall physical and mental health, making diabetes symptoms worse.
At all stages of illness, medical social workers must assess the presence and severity of psychiatric symptoms in the face of physical illness. In the presence of these symptoms, medical social workers need to understand the root of the symptoms. In the absence of psychiatric symptoms, medical social workers need to consider whether and to what extent patients might be susceptible to mental health issues. Completing an ongoing assessment of patients’ mental health status can inform and support medical social work interventions.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Think about Discussion 1 you completed this week. Consider the example of diabetes and depression. Focus on the possibility that mental illness may intensify the symptoms of physical illness, which in turn worsen mental illness, creating a vicious cycle of poor health and health outcomes.
Post an explanation of the importance of mental health status assessment in the presence of physical illness. Explain the specific information a social worker needs to gather during this assessment. Then, describe any follow-up steps a social worker might take when a patient presents with a significant mental health issue. Describe one targeted intervention that you might use in a patient with both mental and physical illness. Finally, explain one strategy that might improve a patient’s mental illness and physical illness simultaneously.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.