Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2013 Jun;16(2):65-73. 10.14475/kjhpc.2013.16.2.065.

The Past, Present and Future Strategies of Korean Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care

  • 1Social Work Department, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. yslee63@hanmail.net


The objective of this paper is to suggest future goals and strategies for social work in hospice and palliative care in Korea by understanding its historical background. Both literature review and participant observation were performed to examine historical data relating to social work in hospice and palliative care in Korea. Also reviewed were the current trends with a focus on the roles of social workers in the said arena, qualifications, education, research and medical insurance policy. First of all, the roles of social workers do not appear to be clearly defined in the field of hospice and palliative care, which seems to lead to the lack of recognition as professional workers. The qualification standard for social workers in hospice and palliative care remains inadequate. Second, there seems to be insufficient professional social worker training resources, in terms of both the number of educators and training programs. Third, social workers in Korea produce significantly less publications than those in other professions. There is also a dearth of qualified evidence-based research that is needed to prove benefits of intervention and ultimately for policy implications. Last, the current medical insurance policy needs to be revised to secure fees for social work services and dedicated full-time social workers in hospice and palliative care. Korea needs to approach social work in hospice and palliative care with specific goals to develop future strategies. Related infrastructure and an executive structure should be established via networking and partnership with academic societies, associations and schools.


Hospice; Palliative care; Social work; Future; Strategies

MeSH Terms

Fees and Charges
Palliative Care
Social Workers
Full Text Links
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error