A recently established field in Catalonia, palliative care offers a substantial professional domain for social work. The care model required for its development, based on a comprehensive approach to all the issues arising from the situation of terminal illness and the need to care for the patient and their family as a unit, makes the work of the social worker paramount. This has been true since the earliest experiences in English hospices, and indeed it also applies here in Catalonia.
Along with psychology and psychiatry, social work constitutes what has been termed the psychosocial domain of palliative care. After several early years devoted to implementing specific resources and gaining clinical experience, social work has established itself as the fundamental psychosocial discipline within palliative care teams in Catalonia.