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Neurology. 2014 Jan 7;82(1):23-31. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000438227.48470.62. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Cluster RCT of case management on patients' quality of life and caregiver strain in ALS.

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From the Department of Rehabilitation (H.C., H.G., F.N., A.B.), Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Netherlands ALS Center; and Department of Neurology (J.H.V., L.H.v.d.B.), Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Netherlands ALS Center, Utrecht.



To study the effect of case management on quality of life, caregiver strain, and perceived quality of care (QOC) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers.


We conducted a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial with the multidisciplinary ALS care team as the unit of randomization. During 12 months, patients with ALS and their caregivers received case management plus usual care or usual care alone. Outcome measures were the 40-item ALS Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40), Emotional Functioning domain (EF); the Caregiver Strain Index (CSI); and the QOC score. These measures were assessed at baseline and at 4, 8, and 12 months.


Case management resulted in no changes in ALSAQ-40 EF, CSI, or QOC from baseline to 12 months. ALSAQ-40 EF scores in both groups were similar at baseline and did not change over time (p = 0.331). CSI scores in both groups increased significantly (p < 0.0001). Patients with ALS from both groups rated their perceived QOC at baseline with a median score of 8, which did not change significantly during follow-up.


Within the context of multidisciplinary ALS care teams, case management appears to confer no benefit for patients with ALS or their caregivers.


This study provides Class III evidence that case management in addition to multidisciplinary ALS care does not significantly improve health-related quality of life of patients with ALS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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