Case management in psychiatry: An analysis of tasks

William H. Sledge, Boris Astrachan, Ken Thompson, Jaak Rakfeldt, Philip Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors analyze the concept of case management from the perspective of the task areas of psychiatry and demonstrate the importance of case management in the organization of psychiatric services. Method: The relevant literature was reviewed, and a functional analysis of current practices is provided. Results: Case management is an ambiguous concept without a clear base in a professional discipline, and thus there is ongoing uncertainty about its mission, practice, and training, as well as authority and accountability issues. The activities of the case manager in both the private and the public sectors entail work in the task areas of medical care, rehabilitation, social control, growth and development, and social welfare. In all of these areas, the case manager may function in boundary management and in system enhancement and development as well as provide clinical services. Conclusions: Case management has considerable potential as a means of organizing and delivering mental health services in a cost-effective manner as long as its purpose, practice, and organizational structures are consistent. Psychiatrists should be involved in the organization of case management services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1265
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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