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01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

What is case management in palliative care? An expert panel study

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Annicka G M van der Plas, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Marlies van de Watering, Wim J J Jansen, Kris C Vissers, Luc Deliens
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-163) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing of interest.

Authors’ contributions

AvdP participated in the design of the study, carried out the measurements, analysed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. BO-P conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and made substantial contributions to the data interpretation and writing of the paper. MvdW, WJ, KV and LD participated in design of the study, interpretation of the data and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Case management is a heterogeneous concept of care that consists of assessment, planning, implementing, coordinating, monitoring, and evaluating the options and services required to meet the client's health and service needs. This paper describes the result of an expert panel procedure to gain insight into the aims and characteristics of case management in palliative care in the Netherlands.


A modified version of the RAND®/University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) appropriateness method was used to formulate and rate a list of aims and characteristics of case management in palliative care. A total of 76 health care professionals, researchers and policy makers were invited to join the expert panel, of which 61% participated in at least one round.


Nine out of ten aims of case management were met with agreement. The most important areas of disagreement with regard to characteristics of case management were hands-on nursing care by the case manager, target group of case management, performance of other tasks besides case management and accessibility of the case manager.


Although aims are agreed upon, case management in palliative care shows a high level of variability in implementation choices. Case management should aim at maintaining continuity of care to ensure that patients and those close to them experience care as personalised, coherent and consistent.
Additional file 1: Aims and characteristics of case management in palliative care. This file contains a full list of all aims and characteristics of case management in palliative care, as formulated and rated by the expert panel. (PDF 129 kb) (PDF 129 KB)
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