Effectiveness of Knowing the People Approach on Case Managers of Mental Health Teams: Findings of a longitudinal study from Canterbury, New Zealand


This study tested the effectiveness of a service development tool – ”Knowing the People Planning” (KPP) for management of mental health clients in the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), New Zealand.


A longitudinal study was conducted in the CDHB mental health services and data were obtained from 341 clients who managed clients with long term mental health disorders, under the care of the Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), in Christchurch. The managers at the North, South, East and West CMHTs were invited to participate in the study. The West CMHT managers were provided with KPP (N=83) while the other teams continued with usual care (N = 258). The intervention period was staggered over different time points, and The Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS) data were collected every three-months over a three-year period to investigate mental health outcomes. The data were analysed using RM-ANOVA, and GEE in SPSS.

Lessons Learned

The intervention group showed increase of reporting of client symptoms in the first three months following the intervention commencement period. Scaled scores for reporting of the client symptom scores were notably higher in the intervention group for depression (standardised beta = 1.86 (95% CI: 1.22, 2.49), and the HONOS 12-item summative scores (standardised beta = 2.24, 95% CI: 0.86, 3.63).


Immediately following KPP implementation, case managers reported increased scores for client symptoms. This implies that KPP can reinforce observations among the mental health case managers and can be used as a monitoring tool in the community mental care setting.

Behaviour Problem summary Score Variability over time and as a function of the intervention targeted at the caregivers

\label{my-label}Table: HONOS Behaviour Problem Reporting with Time and Intervention Targeted at the Caregivers who reported aggregaged responses
Variable Beta Standard Error 95% CI P-value
Intercept 1.059 0.089 (0.884,1.234) <0.001
Intervention Group -0.241 0.1564 (- 0.548, 0.065) 0.123
Wave 0.01 0.0069 (-0.003,0.024) 0.137
Intervention Group*wave -0.019 0.0157 (-0.050, 0.012,) 0.221

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