What is a Case Manager? The Perspective of Persons with Borderline Personality Disorder
AbstractBACKGROUND: Case management services have expanded to include persons with diagnoses other than schizophrenia. Attention has been directed toward persons with chronic, nonpsychotic disorders—in particular, persons with personality disorders. However, to date, the nature and effects of case management for persons with personality disorders are relatively unknown. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore case management services from the perspective of community mental health center clients with borderline personality disorder. By providing descriptions and interpretations of the day-to-day experience of having a case manager, the benefits and limitations of this service delivery model for persons with borderline personality disorder are revealed. STUDY DESIGN: An interpretive, phenomenological research approach was used. RESULTS: Based on the interview data, the following three themes were identified and explicated through the words of the clients: (1) “My case manager treats me like a person,” (2) “My case manager is more than a case manager,” and (3) “My case manager has stuck with me for years.” CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that person-centered, comprehensive, and continuous services from a single caregiver are the core of case management services for persons with borderline personality disorder. Participants perceived their case managers as respectful, resourceful, and reliable. Further work is needed to determine how these practices can be more widely disseminated in mental health care for persons with borderline personality disorder.