Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Background: Case management has been a widely accepted approach to practice in various care settings. This study aimed to explore how community aged care case managers allocated their time to case management functions, how frequently they performed specific case management activities, and what factors influenced the frequency of their activities. Methods: The study involved 154 survey participants, or 17.1 % of the target case managers in the State of Victoria, Australia. Key information collected included participants’ socio-demographic characteristics, proportions of time allocated to six core case management functions, and frequency ratings of 41 specific activities within seven case management functions. Ordinal regression analyses were performed to determine significant factors associated with participants’ frequency ratings of their activities. Results: Participants allocated the largest proportion of time to care coordination (22.0 %), and the smallest proportion of time to outcome evaluation (8.0 %). Over 70 % of the participants assigned high frequency ratings to 31 of the 41 case management activities. The remaining ten activities, including all four outcome evaluation activities, three needs assessment activities, one care planning activity, one care coordination activity, and one general functions-related activity were less commonly performed very frequently. The regression analyses indicated that some case manager and client factors were significantly associated with frequency ratings of nine of the ten activities aforementioned. The two main findings of the regression analyses were: First, emphasising achieving more case management goals was significantly associated with higher frequency of three outcome evaluation activities; second, longer work experience was significantly associated with higher frequency of one care coordination activity and one outcome evaluation activity. Conclusions: The frequent performance of most case management activities and relative absence of factors influencing their frequency suggest a uniformity of practice in community aged care case managers’ practice. What is not clear is whether the frequency of these activities (in particular less frequent performance of outcome evaluation activities) conforms to expectations.

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Keywords

activities, case management, community aged care, functions, influencing factors

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