Value bases of case management evaluation

Karen E. Kirkhart, Mary Carmel Ruffolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Case management is designed to promote access to integrated, quality care for consumers, yet evaluations of case management show mixed results. This paper argues that part of the confusion stems from an unclarity about the value frames used to arrive at judgments of the merit or worth of case management. This paper reviews six value frames commonly applied to human service evaluation and examines the particular relevance of each perspective for the evaluation of case management; they are: consumer needs, consumer wants, professional standards, program goals and objectives, models of practice, and judged or believed standards of merit. Illustrative studies are cited to tie the conceptual framework to current literature and provide direction for future evaluations. The paper outlines a process for selecting value frames and links their selection to six broader issues in case management evaluation: evaluation design and methodology, values underlying programs, definition of the independent variable, political and organizational contexts of evaluation, resource constraints, and metaevaluation. In conclusion, the paper argues that client need should be a predominant value frame in evaluating case management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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