Case management reduces psychological distress in frequent users of health care

May 14, 2018, American Academy of Family Physicians
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research has shown that frequent users of health care services tend to have higher levels of psychological distress. A new study finds that case management reduces psychological distress and creates a sense of security in patients who frequently use health services.

In a of 247 patients, the (n=126) received six months of case management including evaluation of patients' needs and resources, a service plan tailored to patients' priorities, care coordination between healthcare and community partners, and self-management support for patients and families.

Compared with usual care, the intervention reduced (OR 0.43, 95% CI, 0.19-0.95) but had no effect on patient activation.

In addition, interviews were conducted with 25 intervention group patients, six case management nurses, and nine health managers, and focus groups were held with eight patients' spouses and 21 participating family physicians.

Overall, stakeholders had positive perceptions of the case management intervention.

Many noticed that improved accessibility and self-management support led to a sense of security and better self-management of patients' health.

The authors note that future research is needed to evaluate the effect of a case management intervention on the use and cost of services and to assess if a longer intervention would result in a change in self-management.

Explore further: Social worker-led intervention beneficial in heart failure

More information: Catherine Hudon et al. Case Management in Primary Care for Frequent Users of Health Care Services: A Mixed Methods Study, The Annals of Family Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1370/afm.2233

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