Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 591–600 | Cite as

The Challenges in Providing Services to Clients with Mental Illness: Managed Care, Burnout and Somatic Symptoms Among Social Workers

  • Gila M. Acker
Original Paper


This study examined the relationship between social workers’ experiences when interfacing with managed care organizations and burnout. A total of 591 social workers completed questionnaires that included several measures: Self-perceived competence in the context of managed care, professional involvement with clients with severe mental illness, and burnout. Results showed that self-perceived competence in the context of managed care had statistically significant correlations with burnout dimensions. The author discusses the role of social work schools in preparing students for the realistic aspects of mental health work, and recommends a partnership between managed care organizations and professionals for best care giving.


Managed care Social workers Emotional exhaustion Depersonalization Severe and persistent mental illness Social support 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Sciences Department, York CollegeCity University of New YorkJamaicaUSA

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