Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Predictors of the Self-Reported Likelihood of Seeking Social Worker Help among People with Physical Disabilities

Authors: Maya Kagan, Michal Itzick, Patricia Tal-Katz

Abstract:

Social workers hold a variety of roles and practices, and one of these involves the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of disabled people. The current study assesses the association between demographic factors, attitudes towards social workers, the stigma attached to seeking social worker help, perceived social support, and psychological distress - and the self-reported likelihood of seeking social worker help, among people with physical disabilities (PWPD) in Israel. Data collection utilized structured questionnaires, administered to a sample of 435 PWPD. Statistical analyses were done using SPSS software. The findings suggest that women, older respondents, people with more positive attitudes towards social workers, with higher levels of psychological distress and of social support, and with a lower level of stigma, reported a greater likelihood of seeking social worker help. The study's conclusion is that there are certain avoidance factors among PWPD that might discourage them from seeking professional social worker help. Therefore, it is important that social workers identify these factors and develop interventions aimed at encouraging PWPD to seek professional social worker help in case of need, and also develop practices adjusted to PWPD's unique needs.

Keywords: attitudes towards social workers, people with physical disabilities, perceived social support, psychological distress, seeking help, stigma

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