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Soc Work Health Care. 1992;17(1):1-22.

Professional and family collaboration in case management: a hospital-based replication of a community-based study.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison.


This paper presents the results of research on a program that trains family members to serve as case managers for their elderly relatives. The effectiveness of the training program was evaluated using a randomized experimental design. Data were collected in an urban hospital setting about two groups of elderly patients: those with dementia and those needing hemodialysis. Family members of both types of patients were assigned randomly to an experimental group, which received systematic training in performing case management activities, or to a control group, which received only the services ordinarily provided by the hospital social work department. Post-test comparisons revealed that the experimental group family members performed significantly more case management tasks on behalf of their elderly relatives than did family members in the control group. Although trained family members assumed more responsibility for case management, there was no increase in the level of their subjective or objective caregiving burden. Implications for social work practice are presented.

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