Study backs nurse case management

PRACTICE nurses acting as case managers under the guidance of GPs can improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients with depression, an Australian study suggests. 

Researchers from the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health – a collaboration between Flinders and Deakin universities – examined data from 328 patients with depression and either type 2 diabetes or coronary heart disease, or both. 

Eleven practices participated in the study. Five were randomly allocated to an intervention in which practice nurses – who had completed additional training – acted as case managers. 

Nurses obtained physical measures and depression scores, as well as reviewing pathology results, lifestyle risk factors and patient goals and priorities.

Dr Mark Morgan, senior research fellow at Flinders University, is due to present results of the True Blue Study to the Primary Health Care Research