Aims and objectives. The aim was to review available literature on research and service evaluation evidence of nurse-led case management services targeting older people with multiple chronic conditions in their own homes. This was anticipated to highlight important issues for nursing practice, healthcare policy, service provision and health service research.
Background. Enhanced roles for nurses have developed in response to demands for increased efficiency in the provision of healthcare especially in the area of chronic disease management. It is apparent that the evidence to support nurses providing a case management approach for patients with multimorbid chronic conditions in their home environment is ambiguous.
Design. A systematic review of the literature.
Methods. The review was carried out across multiple sources including search and alert engines, electronic databases, relevant journal websites and grey literature. The inclusion criteria applied concentrated on articles in the English language, case management intervention involving nurses providing care in the patients’ own home and older people (aged over 65 years) with multiple chronic illnesses. Of a total of 568 papers identified, eight were of relevance and included in the review.
Results. The qualitative data derived from this systematic review suggests that access to case management services had a positive impact on the patient, the carer and the healthcare staff particularly the General Practitioner. In contrast the more robust quantitative data does not demonstrate a significant impact on emergency admissions, bed days, nor costs.
Conclusions. Further research is needed to understand how case management can most effectively improve service effectiveness for patients and their carers and reduce cost of care.
Relevance to clinical practice. A new emphasis on comparative effectiveness research is required which has the potential to reshape the whole system of healthcare provision for patients with complex needs.