Background: In the Netherlands, various organisational models of dementia case management exist. In this study the following four models are distinguished, based on differences in the availability of the service and in the case management function: Model 1: the case management service is available from first dementia symptoms + is always a separate specialist function; Model 2: the case management service is only available after a formal dementia diagnosis + is always a separate specialist function; Model 3: the case management service is available from first dementia symptoms + is often a combined function; Model 4: the case management service is only available after a formal dementia diagnosis + is often a combined function. The objectives of this study are to give insight into whether satisfaction with dementia case management and the development of caregiver burden depend on the organisational model.; Methods: A survey was carried out in regional dementia care networks in the Netherlands among 554 informal carers for people with dementia at the start of case management (response of 85 %), and one year later. Descriptive statistics and multilevel models were used to analyse the data.
Results: The satisfaction with the case manager was high in general (an average of 8.0 within a possible range of 1 to 10), although the caregiver burden did not decrease in the first year after starting with case management. No differences were found between the four organisational models regarding the development of caregiver burden. However, statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were found regarding satisfaction: informal carers in the organisational model where case management is only available after formal diagnosis of dementia and is often a combined function had on average the lowest satisfaction scores. Nevertheless, the satisfaction of informal carers within all organisational models was high (ranging from 7.51 to 8.40 within a range of 1 to 10).
Conclusions: Organisational features of case management seem to make little or no difference to the development in caregiver burden and the satisfaction of informal carers. Future research is needed to explore whether the individual characteristics of the case managers themselves are associated with case management outcomes