Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Evidence of Rural Practice Skills: Which Practice Skills Are Helpful for Rural Social Workers? (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

729P (see Poster Gallery) Evidence of Rural Practice Skills: Which Practice Skills Are Helpful for Rural Social Workers?

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Mingun Lee, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Ohio University, OH
Rural social workers face many challenges and disparities in their practice settings, unique to their practice location. This systematic review seeks to analyze current literature regarding specific skills required to be a rural social worker and discuss implications for practice and future directions for research and educational curricula.


For the systematic review, the authors followed the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) guidelines. From the guideline in PRISMA, this systematic review was conducted in several phases, including identification of sources, screening of identified sources, evaluation of eligibility, and final decision on sources to be included.


The review generated 19 studies, including 4 quantitative studies, 10 qualitative studies, and 5 mixed studies. From the reviewed literature, eight practice skills were identified in rural social work settings.(E-poster will include table and figure to show the specific practice skills in rural settings).

- Managing dual Relationships was identified in eleven articles (Beecher et al., 2016, p.721; Brocious et al., 2013, p.9; Clark et al., 2010, p.355; Edwards & Addae, 2015, p.88; Warren et al., 2014, p.62).

- Confidentiality: Six articles in the literature review indicated confidentiality (Beecher et al.,2016, p.721; Brocious et al., 2013, p.14; Croxton et al., 2002, p.120; Edwards & Addae, 2015, p.89; Haxton and Boelk, 2010, p.539; Riebschleger, 2007, p.207).

- Cultural Competence and Humility is identified in eight articles (Beecher et al., 2016, p.716; Brocious et al., 2013, p.9; Gumpert et al., 2000, p.22,31; Warren et al., 2014, p.71).

- Understanding Rural Culture and geographic region has been identified in five articles (Mackie & Lips, 2010, p.438; Saltman et al., 2004, p.526; Templeman & Mitchell, 2002, p.765).

- Innovation and Creativity is identified in two articles (Mackie & Lips, 2010, p.433, Lewis et al., 2013, p.106).

Multiple Roles: Navigating multiple roles was a skill identified by seven articles in the literature review (Brocious et al., 2013, p.13; Haxton & Boelk, 2010, p.535-536; Mackie & Lips, 2010, p.434; Saltman et al., 2004, p.529).

- Navigating multiple systems was a skill identified as important for rural social workers based off of nine articles (Beecher et al., 2016, p.727; Bonham et al., 2014, p.5; Clark et al., 2010, p.355; Edwards & Addae, 2015, p.91; Lewis et al., 2013, p.105; Murphy & McDonald, 2004, p.130; Riebschleger, 2007, p.204).

- Critical thinking was identified as important in being self-aware of personal biases and how they impact interactions with clients in rural areas (Brocious et al., 2013, p.12; Edwards & Addae, 2015, p.91).


As a result of the systematic review, rural social workers need both general and advanced practice skills in order to be successful in a rural setting. "An advanced generalist social worker" will be discussed.