Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie


This study explored social workers’ perceived level of competency in addressing chronic pain and mental health. Chronic pain is a prevalent issue and individuals with chronic pain are more likely to experience a mental health concern (Dahlhamer et al., 2016; Gureje et al., 2008). The research design of this study was a quantitative cross-sectional survey distributed through social networks such as Facebook and Reddit. There were a total of 278 respondents, however, 79 were omitted due to not fully completing the survey leaving 199 respondents. The results indicate social workers have a moderate level of competency when working with this specialized population and years of experience, age, having a LCSW and personal experience with chronic pain were found to be associated with higher levels of perceived competency. Factors not found to be associated with perceived competency were gender, ethnicity, and religiosity. Recommendations include incorporating more chronic pain training into the social work degree curriculum, and further research such as on social workers in medical settings and samples with more diverse participants.

Included in

Social Work Commons