Working on the Interprofessional Team: Barriers and Facilitators to Social Worker Practice in Integrated Care Settings

January 14, 2018

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, PhD; Brianna M. Lombardi, MSW; Erica L. Richman, PhD

Poster presentation at the 2018 Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference



  • Aims: (1) To provide an enhanced description of social workers in interprofessional practice and (2) To identify barriers and facilitators to social workers’ role as members of interprofessional teams in integrated settings
  • An electronic survey was developed and administered to MSW students and field instructors at 62 Schools of Social Work who received Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) funding in 2014 under the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) initiative to train and expand the behavioral health workforce in the U.S. (N=325)
  • Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to meet study aims
  • Social work respondents, both students and field instructors, indicated working extensively on interprofessional teams in a variety of interdisciplinary settings, highlighting the significant heterogeneity of practice settings in which social workers practice
  • Continued work and training is needed to define and conceptualize social work role function and clarity
  • Interprofessional efforts at the practice and training level are necessary to re-tool current workforce


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This project was completed under subcontract from the University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center, supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U81HP29300, Health Workforce Research Centers. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by SAMHSA, HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”