Open Access Open Badges Research article

Case management training needs to support vocational rehabilitation for case managers and general practitioners: a survey study

Evangelia Demou1*, Mairi Gaffney1, Furzana Khan1, John K Lando2 and Ewan B Macdonald1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Health and Wellbeing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

2 Motherwell Health Centre, 138 Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1 TB, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:95  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-95

Published: 16 May 2014



The use of the biopsychosocial model of health and case management for effective vocational rehabilitation (VR) has been confirmed for many health conditions. While Case and Condition Managers (CCMPs) use this approach in their everyday work, little is known about their views on training needs. A review of the training curriculum for General Practitioners’ (GPs) revealed little training in VR and the biopsychosocial model of care. This study aims to identify Case and Condition Managers and GPs perceptions of their training needs in relation to employability and VR.


80 Case and Condition Managers and 304 GPs working in NHS Lanarkshire, providing a comparison group, were invited to participate in this study. A self-completion questionnaire was developed and circulated for online completion with a second round of hardcopy questionnaires distributed.


In total 45 responses were obtained from CCMPs, 5 from occupational health nurses (62% response rate) and 60 from GPs (20% response rate). CCMPs and the nursing group expressed a need for training but to a lesser extent than GP’s. The GP responses demonstrated a need for high levels of training in case/condition management, the biopsychosocial model, legal and ethical issues associated with employment and VR, and management training.


This survey confirms a need for further training of CCMPs and that respondent GPs in one health board are not fully equipped to deal with patients employability and vocational needs. GPs also reported a lack of understanding about the role of Case and Condition managers. Training for these professional groups and others involved in multidisciplinary VR could improve competencies and mutual understanding among those advising patients on return-to-work.

Case management; Condition management; General practitioners; Vocational rehabilitation; Training needs