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Title: An analysis of referrals to social services in state primary care in Malta
Authors: Micallef, Elizabeth
Mifsud, James
Scerri Harney, Alexandra
Keywords: Social service -- Malta
Primary health care -- Malta
Physicians (General practice) -- Malta
Holistic medicine -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019-06
Publisher: Malta College of Family Doctors
Citation: Micallef, E., Mifsud, J., & Scerri Harney, A. (2019). An analysis of referrals to social services in state primary care in Malta. Journal of the Malta College of Family Doctors, 8(1), 5-13.
Abstract: Background: Involvement of the social worker in patient management leads to better holistic care. A better understanding of the service offered is needed. -- Objectives: The aim is to review the referrals made to the social worker in Primary HealthCare in Malta since the introduction of the service. Other objectives include increasing the awareness of this service, and improving community care. -- Method: A retrospective analysis of the data obtained by the social worker was carried out by examining all the referrals to the social worker between the 17th August 2015 and the 30th September 2018. Data collection included the total number of referrals, age, nationality, locality, source of referral, time from referral to first contact, reason for referral and co-morbidities. -- Results: The majority of subjects (n=52) were 65 years or older. There were 56.4%, 16.8% and 25.7% of cases from the North, Central and South catchment areas respectively. The majority of patients (n=69) were referred by GPs (67.6%). The others were referred by other healthcare professionals or they were self-referred. The average waiting time from the date of referral to the initial contact with the social worker was 18 days. Most referrals were due to social problems (52%) whilst 38 clients (37%) suffered from mental health illness and 37 clients (36%) suffered from cardiac diseases mainly hypertension and ischaemic heart disease. -- Conclusion: Recommendations for increasing awareness which will lead to better community care were put forward in the discussion, including implications for policy making and making good use of the service.
Appears in Collections:JMCFD, Volume 8, Issue 1
JMCFD, Volume 8, Issue 1

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