What is case management? A scoping and mapping review

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The description of case management in research and clinical practice is highly variable which impedes quality analysis, policy and planning. Case management makes a unique contribution towards the integration of health care, social services and other sector services and supports for people with complex health conditions. There are multiple components and variations of case management depending on the context and client population. This paper aims to scope and map case management in the literature to identify how case management is described in the literature for key complex health conditions (e.g., brain injury, diabetes, mental health, spinal cord injury). Following literature searches in multiple databases, grey literature and exclusion by health condition, community-based and adequate description, there were 661 potential papers for data extraction. Data from 79 papers (1988–2013) were analysed to the point of saturation (no new information) and mapped to the model, components and activities. The results included 22 definitions, five models, with 69 activities or tasks of case managers mapped to 17 key components (interventions). The results confirm the significant terminological variance in case management which produces role confusion, ambiguity and hinders comparability across different health conditions and contexts. There is an urgent need for an internationally agreed taxonomy for the coordination, navigation and management of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


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