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Guardianship patient characteristics and outcomes in geriatric social work practice: Australian context
Social Work in Health Care  (IF1.602),  Pub Date : 2021-10-26, DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2021.1990189
Matthew Jackman, Fiona McDermott, Jacinta Sadler, Nicole El Hage, Halim Lee


This study explored the patient characteristics and outcomes in relation to guardianship in a large-scale sub-acute Australian hospital. Fifteen patients who appointed a guardian at The Kingston Center, Monash Health, participated through exploratory data collection and analysis utilizing a de-identifiable template. The findings revealed both diverse and complex patient characteristics, and ethical dilemmas in patient outcomes for social workers. Patient outcomes post-guardianship appointment and discharge highlighted a negative impact from long length of stay and the iatrogenic impact on patient wellbeing in hospital. The study reflected a disparity between patients’ discharge goals and their outcomes indicating significant ethical dilemmas and complexities for social workers in ensuring rights to autonomy and responsibility for safety are balanced.