Salary and student loan debt for oncology social workers: Findings from the oncology social work competencies, opportunities, roles and expertise (CORE) survey

Ting Guan, Brad Zebrack, shirley Otis-Green, Grace DesJardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: to better understand the current salaries and student loan debt levels among oncology social workers (OsWs). Design: cross-sectional study using online survey. Sample: OsWs across a variety of cancer care settings in the U.s. (n = 1055). Methods: salary and debt were collected via single ordinal variables. crosstabs and chi-square tests were used to examine whether salary and debt differ by demographic and work-related characteristics. Findings: Median OsW salaries ranged from $60,001 to $70,000. three-fourths of OsWs reported having student loan debt. Younger and recently graduated OsWs and OsWs of color were more likely to have greater student loan debt than their counterparts. Conclusions: Relative low salary and debt burden have important implications for securing a current and future OsW workforce. Implications for Psychosocial Policy: adequate reimbursement and loan repayment opportunities for frontline OsWs will better secure this workforce. advocacy efforts to identify OsWs qualified for loan forgiveness programs are warranted
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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