Implementation of a care manager in a collaborative care team in Swedish primary care via a randomized controlled trial showed successful outcome. As four years have elapsed since the implementation of care managers, it is important to gain knowledge about the care managers’ long-term skills and experiences. The purpose was to examine how long-term experienced care managers perceived and experienced their role and how they related to and applied the care manager model.
Qualitative study with a focus group and interviews with nine nurses who had worked for more than two years as care managers for common mental disorders. The analysis used Systematic Text Condensation.
Four codes arose from the analysis: Person-centred; Acting outside the comfort zone; Successful, albeit some difficulties; Pride and satisfaction. The care manager model served as a handrail for the care manager, providing a trustful and safe environment. Difficulties sometimes arose in the collaboration with other professionals.
This study shows that long-term experience of working as a care manager contributed to an in-depth insight and understanding of the care manager model and enabled care managers to be flexible and act outside the comfort zone when providing care and support to the patient. A new concept emerged during the analytical process, i.e. the Anchored Care Manager, which described the special competencies gained through experience.
NCT02378272  Care Manager-Coordinating Care for Person Centered Management of Depression in Primary Care (PRIM-CARE).

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