Preventive home care of frail older people: a review of recent case management studies

Authors

  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg PhD, RNT,

  • Jimmie Kristensson RN


Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences
PO Box 187
Lund University
SE 221 00 Lund
Sweden
Telephone: +46 46 222 1932
E-mail: ingalill.rahm_hallberg@omv.lu.se

Abstract

Preventive actions targeting community-dwelling frail older people will be increasingly important with the growing number of very old and thereby also frail older people. This study aimed to explore and summarize the empirical literature on recent studies of case/care management interventions for community-dwelling frail older people and especially with regard to the content of the interventions and the nurse's role and outcome of it. Very few of the interventions took either a preventive or a rehabilitative approach using psycho-educative interventions focusing, for instance, on self-care activities, risk prevention, health complaints management or how to preserve or strengthen social activities, community involvement and functional ability. Moreover, it was striking that very few included a family-oriented approach also including support and education for informal caregivers. Thus it seems that the content of case/care management needs to be expanded and more influenced by a salutogenic health care perspective. Targeting frail older people seemed to benefit from a standardized two-stage strategy for inclusion and for planning the interventions. A comprehensive geriatric assessment seemed useful as a base. Nurses, preferably trained in gerontological practice, have a key role in case/care management for frail older people. This approach calls for developing the content of case/care management so that it involves a more salutogenic, rehabilitative and family-oriented approach. To this end it may be useful for nurses to strengthen their psychosocial skills or develop close collaboration with social workers. The outcome measures examined in this study represented one of three perspectives: the consumer's perspective, the perspective of health care consumption or the recipient's health and functional ability. Perhaps effects would be expected in all three areas and thus these should be included in evaluative studies in addition to measures for family and/or informal caregiver's strain and satisfaction.

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