Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Shon, Herb


The older adult population is rapidly growing along with the use and continued need for hospice care services. Due to these circumstances there is on ongoing demand for experienced and knowledgeable social workers to meet the unique needs of this population. Research in this study indicates that social workers currently working in the hospice field do not feel adequately prepared to work with dying and bereaved patients. Furthermore, research shows a lack of education within social programs and social work textbooks regarding the subject of end of life care. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of social work student’ perceptions of hospice and determine if there were any differences depending on their sociodemographics. The sample was comprised of students enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate level social work program at California State University San Bernardino. This project was conducted using a quantitative design and data was collected through the use of an online questionnaire. There were no significant results of this study, however the study did find that while social work students do feel inadequately prepared to handle the unique challenges of hospice, they are knowledgeable in the field of hospice and have a desire to learn more about hospice. Recommendations for future research is for social worker programs to implement more education related to older adults and their unique needs. It is also recommended that social work students seek further education regarding hospice care and social worker development in order to adequately be prepared to work with these individuals and have the tools necessary to meet their needs.

Included in

Social Work Commons