Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work education, Psychotropic drugs, Social workers-Education (Continuing education), Social service-Study and teaching (Continuing education), Career development, Psychotropic medication, Medication, Knowledge, Social work continuing education, Professional development


The current study explored how clinical social workers working with patients who are prescribed psychotropic medication went about developing the knowledge and skills to work with the population. The study identified training activities that contribute to the development of practice skills, and examined the relationship between these activities and self-rated practice competency levels. A snowball sample of 28 clinical social workers whose scope of practice included collaborating on the care of patients who are prescribed psychotropic medications were recruited. Participants completed a brief, anonymous, online questionnaire that was developed for the current study, and informed by the work of Bentley, Walsh, and Farmer (2005). The major findings indicated that along with years of experience in the field, the number of settings worked had the greatest effect on the social workers' self-rated competency levels. Among 34 choices, participants most frequently selected "consultation with psychiatrists", "interactions with clients", "research done on the internet", and "peer consultation" as most useful. Finally, this study concluded with recommendations for training and implications for future research.




v, 121 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 97-100)