Social Work in Health Care - Research Group

Hebrew University Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, and Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center


• Developing advanced knowledge in social work in healthcare while combining two knowledge bases: the theoretical academic and the knowledge acquired through direct practice.

• Promoting the involvement of social workers (in academia and in the field) in the development of multidisciplinary knowledge that is an integral part of the health care system.

• Building a research infrastructure to strengthen teaching on the one hand and the practices and service technologies in the field on the other.

• Impacting health policy in Israel through reasoning on the group’s research findings and their applications to policy practice.

• Encouraging and strengthening international partnerships with medical centers in other countries.




• Developing knowledge in the field of social work in healthcare that combines “practice wisdom” with theoretical conceptualization, and conducting empirical research based on advanced research methods.

• Finding opportunities to include psychosocial aspects in medical studies and integrating the social workers within the multidisciplinary hospital research teams.

• Encouraging social workers to integrate research thinking and active research into their practice.

• Ensuring research, done by researchers and students alike, is relevant to practice.

• Accessing evidence-based interventions from other countries for social workers in healthcare and testing their feasibility and efficacy in the Israeli context.

• Promoting involvement among policy makers by placing a spotlight on populations that do not receive adequate medical and psychosocial care, such as the elderly population in Israel, as supported by current research findings.

• Recruiting research funds from competitive grant foundations, government ministries, and philanthropic foundations to ensure expansion and continuation of the research group activities.

• Attending and organizing international conferences and joint research studies with leading medical centers in the U.S. and elsewhere.


Research Group Members (in Alphabetic Order):

Prof. Gail Auslander:

Ms. Estelle Rubinstein

Dr. Hadas Rosenne:

Prof. Miriam Schiff:

Ms. Noa Shemesh:

Prof. Shirly Werner:

Ad-hoc partners on specific research studies include:

(1) Any faculty member or graduate student from the Hebrew University School of Social Work who is interested in research in healthcare and who would like to conduct a research study in a relevant topic jointly with a social worker from Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center.

(2) Any social worker in the social services of Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center who is interested in research in the field and who would like to conduct a joint research study with a faculty member or graduate student from the School of Social Work.


Research Program:

 Since the group’s inception in 2004, more than 30 studies in multiple fields have been completed in various research paradigms and methodologies, and several studies are currently in the phase of data collection. Research Topics include: Parental Coping with their Children’s Ocular Retinoblastoma; Adolescents’ Coping with Diabetes; Coping with CF in Adulthood; Kidney Transplant Patients’ Return to Work; Treatment of Eating Disorders in a Psychiatric Day Hospital; Follow-up on the Process and Outcomes of Discharge Planning for Elderly Patients in Acute Care Hospitals and Comparing Results to a Previous Study Conducted in 2005, Answering the Question of Whether Israeli Health Care Improved or Deteriorated?; Hospital Social Worker Interventions with Survivors of Acts of Political Violence in Israel. These are just a few examples.

Some of the studies received external funding from competitive funding sources, including the Ministry of Retirement Affairs and the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research. Some of the research was conducted as part of undergraduate and graduate research seminars and thesis papers, and some by high-ranking researchers and social workers at the School of Social Work and Hadassah Medical Center.


The research projects are presented at international conferences, and some have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals in the realm of social work in health care.


The research group is coordinating the 10th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health to be held at the Hebrew University in the summer of 2022. The conference will build closer ties between the field and academia and strengthen the international cooperation of the research group, both in field projects and research projects.


Steering Committee

A joint steering committee for the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare and Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center determines the group’s policy and decides which studies will be carried out there and which projects and tasks at the national and international level will play a part. Members of the steering committee are Prof. Miriam Schiff and Prof. Gail Auslander of the Hebrew University; Mrs. Estelle Rubinstein, Director of Social Services at Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center; Noa Shemesh, Director of the Social Work Department, Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center; and Dr. Hadas Rosenne, a high-ranking social worker at Hadassah.


Professor Gail Auslander was the chair of the research group for many years.

Today, the group is chaired by Prof. Miriam Schiff, Zena Harman Chair in Social Work, together with the group’s coordinator—Dr. Hadas Rosenne, Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center.






Selected List of Publications

קוצ'ין, א' (2018). תפקיד העו"ס בהטמעת השימוש בייפוי כוח לפי חוק זכויות החולה. בתוך: ו' סוסקולני, א' ברשטלינג, מ' פרגר (עורכות), אסופת מאמרים לסיכום כנס "עבודה סוציאלית בבריאות: הישגים, חזון ואתגרים לעתיד" (עמ' 240-233). ירושלים: משרד הבריאות, השירות הארצי לעבודה סוציאלית.

רוזן, ה', אוסלנדר, ג', רובינשטיין, א', שמש, נ' (2018). לעזוב את "אזור הנוחות": קבוצת מחקר לעבודה סוציאלית בבריאות. בתוך: ו' סוסקולני, א' ברשטלינג, מ' פרגר (עורכות), אסופת מאמרים לסיכום כנס "עבודה סוציאלית בבריאות: הישגים, חזון ואתגרים לעתיד" (עמ' 339-326). ירושלים: משרד הבריאות, השירות הארצי לעבודה סוציאלית.



Auslander, G. K. (2012). Depressive Symptoms Among Hospitalized Patients in Israel. Social Work in Health Care, 51(2), 107-124. doi:10.1080/00981389.2011.601407


Auslander, G. K., & Rosenne, H. (2016). Data Mining for Social Work Students: Teaching Practice-Based Research in Conjunction with a Field Work Placement. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 36(1), 52-69. doi:10.1080/08841233.2016.1125731


Frenkel, S., Rosenne, H., Hendler, K., Baruch, R., & Pe’er, J. (2008). Quality of Life of Uveal Melanoma Survivors. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 49(13), 4480-4480.


Frenkel, S., Rosenne, H., Hendler, K., Baruch, R., & Pe’er, J. (2009). Quality of Life of Family Members of Uveal Melanoma Survivors. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 50(13), 5758-5758.


Frenkel, S., Rosenne, H., Briscoe, D., Hendler, K., Bereket, R., Molcho, M., & Pe'er, J. (2018). Long-term uveal melanoma survivors: measuring their quality of life. Acta Ophthalmologica, 96(4), e421-e426. doi:10.1111/aos.13655


Hamama-Raz, Y., Rot, I., & Buchbinder, E. (2012). The Coping Experience of Parents of a Child with Retinoblastoma-Malignant Eye Cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 30(1), 21-40. doi:10.1080/07347332.2011.633977


Lalayants, M., Epstein, I., Auslander, G. K., Chan, W. C. H., Fouché, C., Giles, R., Joubert, L., Rosenne, H., and Vertigan, A. (2012). Clinical data-mining: Learning from practice in international settings. International Social Work, 56(6), 775-797. doi:10.1177/0020872811435370


Rosenne, H., Frenkel, S., Hendler, K., Baruch, R., & Pe'er, J. (2008). Quality of life of uveal melanoma survivors and their family members. Psycho-Oncology, 17, S299-S299.


 Schiff, M., Lesser, L., Levine, T., Savo, Y., Dashti, T., & Rosenne, H. (2019). Social work interventions with survivors of acts of political violence. Journal of Social Work, 1468017319883556. doi:10.1177/1468017319883556


Werner, S., Kurtz, S., Rosenne, H., & Halpern, A. (2013). Growing Up with Cystic Fibrosis and Its Challenges in Adulthood. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 6(4), 589.‏


Werner, S., Halpern, A., Kurtz, S. & Rosenne, H. (2019). Disclosure in Cystic Fibrosis: A qualitative study. Journal of Social Issues, 75(3), 881-903.


Werner, S., Hochman, Y., Rosenne, H. & Kurtz, S. (In press). Cooperation or Tension? Dyadic Coping in Cystic Fibrosis. Family Process.