On Role conflict and role ambiguity:the case of Social Workers in healthcare teams


  • Dan li Henan Normal University




healthcare teams, social work in healthcare, role ambiguity, social work, healthcare management



Is there any ongoing role ambiguity in healthcare teams? What is the evolving role of  social workers in heathcare? In recent years there has been great international interest in understanding how to improve the integration of different professions in healthcare teams.


The article aims at contributing to the international debate on clarifying the role of social workers in healthcare teams and produce recommendations for policy making and healthcare teams management and the ongoing challenge of role ambiguity and role conflict in health systems.


The study undertook in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 social workers working at hospitals. The participants were recruited using purposive sampling. The data collection methods were semi-structured interviews, content analysis and direct observation.


The study identified an ongoing ambiguity concerning the role of healthcare teams in China as identified in other countries around the World. Their role has been evolving around social case intervention practiced on an individual basis without clear integration in the healthcare team plan or relation with the patient/client.

Main Contribution to Evidence-Based Practice:

The article contributes to the international understanding of role conflict and role ambiguity of social work in healthcare identifying key recommendations for olicy-making and health systems development .


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How to Cite

li, D. (2022). On Role conflict and role ambiguity:the case of Social Workers in healthcare teams. International Healthcare Review (online). https://doi.org/10.56226/40



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