Social work role in research studies of families having hereditary cancer and pre-cancer diagnoses

Anne J. Krush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The social worker’s role in genetic counseling, both as member of a clinical team and investigator in research including family studies, is demonstrated through description of research studies of families having hereditary cancer and pre-cancer diagnoses. Studies involve persons affected with a genetic disorder, those who are unaffected, healthy persons, all of whom may be asked to undergo uncomfortable and sometimes painful tests in order to increase scientific knowledge about a specific genetic disorder. Social work skill and knowledge, casework, interviewing techniques, understanding of the psychodynamics involved in persons with genetic disorders, ability to establish relationships with people, enabling patients to cope with their problems and interdisciplinary competence are all called for in these projects. Additional qualifications can be acquired through courses in basic genetics and “on the job” training. The pursuit of scientific inquiry within the context of human values is shown as challenge and opportunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1982


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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