Medicine:Case management (mental health)

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Case management is the coordination of community-based services by a professional or team to provide people the quality mental health care that is customized accordingly to an individual's setbacks or persistent challenges and aid them to their recovery.[1][2] Case management seeks to reduce hospitalizations and support individuals' recovery through a holistic approach that considers each person's overall biopsychosocial needs without making disadvantageous economic costs. As a result, care coordination includes traditional mental health services but may also encompass primary healthcare, housing, transportation, employment, social relationships, and community participation. It is the link between the client and care delivery system.[2]


The case management model developed in the US was a response to the closure of large psychiatric hospitals (known as deinstitutionalisation) and initially for provision of services which enhances the quality of life without the need for direct patient care or contact.[3] Clinical or therapeutic case management then developed as the need for the mental health professional to establish a therapeutic relationship and be actively involved in clinical care, often in this only the personal and interpersonal resources are utilized. The process involved can be cyclical because of its client-centered nature.[4] According to the American Association on Mental Retardation (1994) "Case Management (service coordination) is an ongoing process that consists of the assessment of wants and needs, planning, locating and securing supports and services, monitoring and follow-along. The individual or family is the defining force of this service coordination process."[5]

A more active form of case management is present in assertive community treatment (or intensive case management), this provides a holistic and integrated approach in psychiatric case management with coordinated services that promote increased wellness for the management's (homes or agencies) population. This form of management is a part of managed care systems and often falls in legal trouble for coerced care, others include health maintenance organizations, point-of-service plans, and preferred provider arrangements.[6]


Case management is about engaging the clients in a process, not processing clients. Hence, Rose and Moore in 1995 defined the following as case management functions:[1]

  1. Outreach or identification of clients
  2. Assessment of individual needs
  3. Service or Care planning
  4. Plan implementation
  5. Progress monitoring
  6. Regular review and Termination

In cases when re-assessment might identify more than one needs and they are required to be delivered, a new case management cycle is initiated. The case manager becomes an effective facilitator or enabler by use of self, understanding the social systems, the etiology of needs, and functioning of the clients. Moore in 1990s said that a case manager should possess the clinical skills of a psychotherapist and the advocacy skills of a community organizer.[7] A client record is maintained by the case manager for effective delivery of services per agency policy. Newer forms of record keeping involve using checklist and scan sheets for decentralized and statistical outcome management.[1] Others who have explained the functions and tasks of a case manager are Grube & Chernesky, 2001; Mather & Hull, 2002; and Vourlekis & Green, 1962.


Several models of case management emerged to coordinate care for individuals with different assessment and re-assessments involved. These models differ in their approach to care, frequency of contact, the number of professionals and referrals involved. In addition, outcome evaluation is typically used to assess the effectiveness of treatment interventions. Researchers have developed fidelity measures to assess the implementation of a particular case management model.[8]

A 2010 review shows the following similarities and differences in different models of case management with regards to the way they operate:[2]

Model Developed Focus[2] Case manager(s)[2] Client(s)[2] Fidelity measure(s)
Brokerage Model ? Connect client to services Individual Individual ?
Clinical Case Management ? Involve case manager in treatment Individual Individual ?
Assertive Community Treatment ? Reduce hospitalizations Multidisciplinary team,
10–12 members[8]
Intensive Case Management ? Reduce hospital and emergency service use Individual Individual ?
Personal Empowerment Model /
Strengths Model
1980s[8] Client abilities and interests Individual Individual Strengths Model Fidelity Scale[8]
Rehabilitation Model ? Client goals, disability rehabilitation plan Individual Individual ?
Individual Case Management ? Varies Individual Individual ?
Team Case Management ? Varies Team Individual ?
Cluster Case Management ? Mutual support Individual with optional assistant Group ?

Effectiveness of managed care models

A systematic review investigated the effects of intensive case management for patients with severe mental illness:

Intensive case management versus standard care[9]
Based on evidence of variable quality, ICM is effective in helping many outcomes relevant to people with severe mental illness. Compared to standard care, ICM may reduce hospitalization and increase retention in care. It also globally improved people's functioning socially, but ICM's effect on mental state and quality of life remains unclear.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Onyett, Steve (1998). Case management in mental health (reprint ed.). Cheltenham, UK: Stanley Thornes. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7487-3845-8. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Ivezić, Slađana Štrkalj; Mužinić, Lana; Filipac, Vanda (March 2010). "Case management: a pillar of community psychiatry". Psychiatria Danubina 22 (1): 28–33. PMID 20305587. 
  3. Intagliata, James (1982). "Improving the quality of community care for the chronically mentally disabled: the role of case management". Schizophrenia Bulletin 8 (4): 655–74. doi:10.1093/schbul/8.4.655. PMID 7178854. 
  4. Holloway, F (March 1991). "Case management for the mentally ill: looking at the evidence". International Journal of Social Psychiatry 37 (1): 2–13. doi:10.1177/002076409103700102. PMID 2045238.  (Subscription content?)
  5. Kanter, Joel (April 1989). "Clinical case management: definition, principles, components". Hospital and Community Psychiatry 40 (4): 361–8. doi:10.1176/ps.40.4.361. PMID 2714749.  (Subscription content?)
  6. Stein, Leonard I.; Test, Mary Ann (April 1980). "Alternative to mental hospital treatment: I. Conceptual model, treatment program, and clinical evaluation". Archives of General Psychiatry 37 (4): 392–7. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780170034003. PMID 7362425.  (Subscription content?)
  7. Betsy Vourlekis; Roberta R. Greene (5 July 2017). Social Work Case Management. Taylor & Francis. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-351-48933-1. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Teague, Gregory B.; Mueser, Kim T.; Rapp, Charles A. (August 2012). "Advances in fidelity measurement for mental health services research". Psychiatric Services 63 (8): 765–71. doi:10.1176/ PMID 22854723. 
  9. Dieterich, Marina; Irving, Claire B.; Bergman, Hanna; Khokhar, Mariam A.; Park, Bert; Marshall, Max (6 January 2017). "Intensive case management for severe mental illness". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1: CD007906. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007906.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 28067944. 

Further reading

ar:معالجة حالة (صحة عقلية)