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Leadership skills are an integral part of effective social work practice in health and mental healthcare settings. Social workers require critical leadership skills to effectively support, treat and advocate for the complex needs of those most vulnerable. Despite an increasing focus on social work leadership within the last decade, there has been a paucity of research on social work leadership competencies within the realm of health and mental health service provision. To bridge this gap, this scoping review will synthesise and map the current literature on social work leadership competencies in health and mental healthcare. Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage framework for scoping reviews will guide our search of six academic databases including: PsycINFO, OVID Social Work Abstracts, OVID Medline, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts and CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Selected articles that meet inclusion criteria will then be reviewed and charted. Recurrent themes will be reviewed through a qualitative thematic analysis, and reported in both text and figures. Findings will highlight key social work leadership competencies as they relate to social work practice, team dynamics, and client outcomes within health and mental healthcare. Material retrieved in this scoping review was selected from publicly available sources, and thus as an obtrusive research method, this review does not warrant ethics approval. Findings from this review will be disseminated through published scholarly material, as well as presented at conferences pertaining to social work research, practice and education. © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


Amina Hussain, Rachelle Ashcroft. Social work leadership competencies in health and mental healthcare: a scoping review protocol. BMJ open. 2020 Oct 05;10(10):e038790

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PMID: 33020102

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