Heidi's Research Blog - Part 3

Posted 28th July 2020

In her next blog instalment, Heidi discusses the creation of her completed research protocol, "The effectiveness of a case management approach to care for adults who suffer trauma through injury: protocol for a systematic review".

July 2020 Update

I finally finished the summer term and completed all my assignments. This has enabled me to complete the systematic review protocol which I have been working on daily.

The ROBIS Tool is used to assess risk of bias in systematic reviews (Whiting et al., 2015). The first signalling question of the Tool requires a pre-dated protocol with pre-specified research objectives and eligibility criteria. This is to reduce the risk of bias in the report through retrospective tailoring of methods to include the best outcomes. This is why it is important to have a protocol for the case management systematic review, otherwise even the most thorough review will lack credibility. The case management protocol also follows international standards by referring to the PRISMA-P elaboration and explanation paper (Shamseer et al., 2015). This is quite a rigorous process to follow and encourages the reviewer to think of every detail that needs to be covered for a quality review. I already have experience of protocol writing for my project with Middlesbrough Council and for university modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level so have felt quite comfortable with the process. I have also had numerous Zoom meetings with the project leads Trevor and Catriona for guidance.

One major issue that needed clarification before I could begin the protocol was finding a framework to map the case management model. I do not need to tell CMSUK members about the many definitions, models and synonyms for case management. For someone new to this area, it was all very confusing at first as every researcher stated something different and I could not find research that appropriately justified its definition of case management. I read about the brain injury case management taxonomy (BICM-T) (Lukersmith et al., 2016) and wondered if this could be applied to other health conditions as the CMSUK review is broad, covering all injuries. I emailed the author Sue Lukersmith which resulted in a Zoom meeting with her. We had a tremendous meeting where she informed me that after review with health professionals and researchers, the BICM-T was renamed the Case Management Taxonomy (CMT) and may be applied to all health conditions. The CMT maps the case manager’s actions, setting and the type and frequency of interaction to determine the case management model (Lukersmith, 2017). The methods used to develop the CMT are transparent and rigorous having been developed inductively from a scoping mapping review of international case management literature, informed by validated scientific classifications and reviewed by an expert panel (Lukersmith, 2017). Sue Lukersmith was certainly very interested in the CMSUK systematic review.

I hope CMSUK members will find the protocol to be thorough and relevant. In addition to learning about case management I have also been researching injuries. These are two huge topics and as such, the past two months have involved a large volume of daily reading and I have participated in CMSUK webinars. I also really appreciated receiving ‘a day in the life’ accounts from case managers which I know must have taken time to complete during a busy schedule.



Lukersmith et al., (2016). The brain injury case management taxonomy (BICM-T): a classification of community-based case management interventions for a common language. Disability and Health Journal. 9(2016), 272-280.

Lukersmith, S. (2017). A taxonomy of case management: development, dissemination and impact. University of Sydney. [Online]. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/17000 [Accessed 12 June 2020].

Shamseer S., et al. (2015). Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015: elaboration and explanation. BMJ. [Online]. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7647 [Accessed 25 February 2020].

Whiting, P., et al. (2015). ROBIS: Tool to assess risk of bias in systematic reviews. [Online]. Available at: http://ccet-database.oss-cn-qingdao.aliyuncs.com/EBR%2Fquality-assessment-tool%2FROBIS%2Frobisguidancedocument.pdf [Accessed 23 April 2020].

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