Need and value of case management in multidisciplinary ALS care: A qualitative study on the perspectives of patients, spousal caregivers and professionals

M. Bakker, H. Creemers, K. Schipper, A. Beelen, H. Grupstra, F. Nollet, T. Abma

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Our objective was to explore the needs and value of case management according to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), their spousal caregivers, and health care professionals in the context of multidisciplinary ALS care. We undertook semi-structured interviews with 10 patients with ALS, their caregivers (n = 10) and their ALS health care professionals (n = 10), and held a focus group (n = 20). We transcribed the audio-taped interviews and analysed all data thematically. Participants indicated that in certain circumstances case management can have an added value. They identified factors for receptiveness to case management: adequacy of usual care, rate of disease progression, and degree of social network support and personal factors of patients and spousal caregivers. Participants valued the time for consultation, house calls and proactive approach of the case manager. Patients with ALS and caregivers appreciated emotional support, whereas professionals did not mention the importance of emotional support by the case manager. In conclusion, ALS teams can consider implementation of valued aspects of case management (accessibility, ample time, proactive approach, emotional support) in the usual multidisciplinary ALS care. Additional support might be provided to patients with rapidly progressive disease course, passive coping style and small social network
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
JournalAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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