Adding values: An experiment in systematic attention to values and preferences of community long-term care clients

Rosalie A Kane, Howard B. Degenholtz, Robert L Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives. We tested the effects of providing case managers with tools to assess and respond to client values and preferences on their subsequent knowledge of clients' values and their practices in arranging long-term care. Method. Using a quasi-experimental design with newly enrolled, cognitively intact clients, we compared case managers, clients, and care plans at the experimental and control agency. Results. Three weeks after enrollment, experimental clients were significantly more likely to report that case managers had asked them about their own preferences and offered them choices about services. Actual client values reported at the 3-month follow-up were similar for the two groups, with experimental case managers only slightly more accurate judges of their clients' responses to values questions. At follow-up, experimental case managers reported more case activity tailoring plans to client preferences, a finding confirmed by record reviews. Client acuity, measured by ADL functioning and prior hospital use, was associated with less perceived discussion of client preferences during the initial care planning process, but more case activity related to client preferences during the first three months. Discussion. The study suggests it is possible to sensitize case managers to the importance of assessing and acting on client values. Getting them to do so consistently, however, may require changes in the practice environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S109-S119
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999


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