Victoria Cerone, DSW ’20, Receives Award for Article in Journal Of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care

For Paper on How to Address Anticipatory Loss in Acute Care Settings
Victoria Cerone

Victoria Cerone, DSW ’20, has received the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care Editor’s Choice Best Article Award for “A Brief Psychodynamic and Person-Centered Approach to Address Anticipatory Loss in Acute Care Settings.” The award, sponsored by Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network and Taylor & Francis and presented annually, honors an article published in the journal over the preceding year.

Victoria, a clinical social worker at New York University Langone Medical Center, explained that acute care social work addresses the biopsychosocial and spiritual distress of people with critical and chronic illness, which presents many challenges for the practitioner. “One significant challenge,” she said, “is that, depending on the trajectory of an illness, a social worker in an acute care setting may have a limited number of opportunities to engage in meaningful interaction with an emotionally distressed patient.” 

Her award-winning article presents an in-depth description of anticipatory loss and describes the therapeutic practice skills needed by palliative care and all medical social workers to address the experience of anticipatory loss in an acute care setting. Brief psychodynamic and person-centered therapy, provided in combination, are highlighted as one method to explore a patient’s feelings and wishes in the face of critical illness, and as a way of helping a patient connect with their humanity beyond their diagnosis.

Victoria, who addressed anticipatory loss and moral distress in acute care settings in her DSW capstone project, credited the DSW Program with helping her develop her publication and presentation skills as well as strengthening her clinical leadership skills. “NYU Silver’s DSW Program has provided an academic experience that gives context to my work, expanding my knowledge and my understanding,” she said. “Professors and fellow cohort members have provided insights and innovative solutions to extend my commitment to the work. The courses have provided historical and contemporary foundations on which to develop my clinical practice, and the faculty consultations and editorial suggestions have propelled me toward developing presentations and publishable papers to impact how others in the field approach working with people with critical illness in acute care.