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Case management that is initiated in hospital and led by specialist nurses may reduce unplanned hospital re-admissions and length of hospital stay for adults with heart failure, say research findings from School funded research recently selected as a NIHR Signal.

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Case management is specific, intensive one-to-one care that involves many components to do with planning, coordinating and reviewing the care of people with long-term conditions.

This NIHR review of organisational type research found quite a lot of studies: 17 trials and five other studies, including three from the UK. The interventions used by the individual studies in this review varied widely, which highlights some need for caution in interpreting the pooled findings. There was limited evidence that hospital-initiated case management is cost effective – particularly in relation to the NHS. A few studies examined case management that was started in the community.

The findings are promising and may lead to further studies that confirm these findings in the UK setting. Commissioners would also need to know other things too, such as the components of case management that are most beneficial and the costs. Read more.