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Appraisal of cooperation with a palliative care case manager by general practitioners and community nurses: a cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Plas, A.G.M. van der, Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B.D., Vissers, K.C., Deliens, L., Jansen, W.J.J., Francke, A.L. Appraisal of cooperation with a palliative care case manager by general practitioners and community nurses: a cross-sectional questionnaire study. Journal of Advanced Nursing: 2016, 72(1), 147-157
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Aims
To investigate how general practitioners and community nurses value the support that they receive from a nurse case manager with expertise in palliative care, whether they think the case manager is helpful in realizing appropriate care and what characteristics of the patient and case management are associated with this view.

Background
For sustainable palliative care in an ageing society, basic palliative care is provided by generalists and specialist palliative care is reserved for complex situations. Acceptance of and cooperation with specialist palliative care providers by the general practitioner and community nurse is pivotal.

Design
Cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Methods
Questionnaire data from 168 general practitioners and 125 community nurses were analysed using chi-square tests, univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Data were gathered between March 2011–December 2013.

Results
Of general practitioners, 46% rated the case manager as helpful in realizing care that is appropriate for the patient; for community nurses this was 49%. The case manager did not hinder the process of care and had added value for patients, according to the general practitioners and community nurses. The tasks of the case manager were associated with whether or not the case manager was helpful in realizing appropriate care, whereas patient characteristics and the number of contacts with the case manager were not.

Conclusion
General practitioners and community nurses are moderately positive about the support from the case manager. To improve cooperation further, case managers should invest in contact with general practitioners and community nurses. (aut. ref.)