The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4293.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Table 3

Abstract #56747

Case manager empowerment and client-empowering practice

Kaori Fujishiro1, Catherine A Heaney, PhD, MPH1, and A. Celeste Burke, PhD, MSW2. (1) School of Public Health, Ohio State University, 320 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-293-9136,, (2) College of Social Work, The Ohio State Univeristy, 1947 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210

Client empowerment has been identified as an important goal of professional helping relationships (Rappaport, 1984). Fujishiro, Heaney, and Burke (2002) empirically identified four subcomponents of client-empowering practice in case management for severely mentally ill adults: building affective relationships, utilizing self-disclosure, facilitating collaboration, and supporting client self-determination. In this paper, we examine the relationship between case managers’ own sense of empowerment at work and client-empowering practice.

In general, employees are empowered at work if they: (1) perceive their work to be meaningful and important; (2) believe that they are competent in performing their job activities; (3) experience autonomy at work; and (4) can influence the policies and procedures of their work units (Spreitzer, 1996). These characteristics describe proactive workers who shape their own work. We hypothesized that the more empowered case managers (CMs) are at work, the more they will engage in client-empowering practice.

Survey data from 275 CMs in Ohio (response rate 83%) were used to examine the hypothesis. A structural equation model revealed that CMs’ sense of empowerment was positively associated with the performance of client-empowering practice (beta = .528, p < .001). More specifically, our findings suggest that case managers who have stronger autonomy over their work processes and confidence in their ability to do their jobs are more likely to work in partnership with clients. The results provide empirical support for enhancing CMs’ autonomy and competence in order to encourage client-empowering practice.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

New Approaches to Mental Health Service Delivery

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA