Characteristics of mental health case management: results of a national survey

Marsha Langer Ellison, University of Massachusetts Medical School
E. Sally Rogers, Boston University
Ken Sciarappa, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Mikal Cohen, Boston University
Rick Forbess, Boston University

At the time of publication, Marsha Langer Ellison was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


In the last several years, state mental health authorities throughout the United States have assigned a high priority to the funding, development, and operation of case management programs. Although the concept of case management has been in existence for over a decade, there is still confusion regarding the definition of case management and the identification of alternative case management approaches. Recognizing this confusion, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation undertook a comprehensive study to determine the state of case management practice today. This article reports on the results of a national survey of case management programs and describes the characteristics of the programs themselves, the case managers, the clients they serve, and the systems within which they operate. Implications of these findings for a definition of case management are discussed.