The aim was to test sampling and explore sample characteristics in a pilot study using a case management intervention for older people with functional dependency and repeated contact with the healthcare services as well as to investigate the effects of the intervention on perceived health and depressed mood after 3 months. The aim was also to explore internal consistency in the life satisfaction index Z, activities of daily living-staircase and Geriatric Depression Scale-20.
This pilot study was carried out in a randomised controlled design with repeated follow-ups. In all, 46 people were consecutively and randomly assigned to either an intervention (n = 23) or a control (n = 23) group. Two nurses worked as case managers and carried out the intervention, which consisted of four parts.
No differences were found between the groups at baseline. The results showed the participants had low life satisfaction (median 14 vs. 12), several health complaints (median 11) and a high score on the Geriatric Depression Scale (median 6) at baseline, indicating the risk of depression. No significant effects were observed regarding depressed mood or perceived health between or within groups at follow-up after 3 months. Cronbach's alpha showed satisfactory internal consistency for group comparisons.
The sampling procedure led to similar groups. The life satisfaction, functional dependency and symptoms of depression measures were reliable to use. No changes in perceived health and symptoms of depression were found after 3 months, indicating that it may be too early to expect effects. The low depression score is noteworthy and requires further research.