Negotiation Training for Case Managers to Improve Older Adult Acceptance of Services

Mobola Campbell, Anne Seltzer, Vanessa Ramirez-Zohfeld, Lee A. Lindquist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Study: Older adults frequently choose not to accept recommended social support services (e.g., caregiver and home therapy). Social workers/case managers (SWs/CMs) are often caught in the conflict encouraging patients to accept services, but facing resistance. As a result, older adults may experience unsafe home scenarios and hospital discharges. This research sought to examine whether business school negotiation and dispute resolution (NDR) training could ease these conflicts and potentially improve outcomes for both older adults and SWs/CMs. Practice Settings: Urban health care system (pilot), national case management conference (implementation). Methodology and Sample: Researchers tailored the NDR training, offered at graduate business schools, for SWs/CMs. Researchers then pilot tested the NDR training at an urban hospital and implemented it with a national cohort of SWs/CMs at a national case management conference. Participants completed a survey that ascertained conflicts, utility of the NDR program, real-world applicability, and future directions. Results: Eighty-five SW/CM participants, from 22 states, completed the NDR training and survey. Participants reported experiencing conflicts frequently in their workday. Post-NDR training, respondents were very positive about the knowledge gained from the course, specifically noting themes of learning the negotiation basics, tactics (e.g., framing), and integrative strategies (e.g., win-win/expanding to multi-issue discussions). All participants planned to use the NDR skills in the future. Implications for Case Management Practice: The NDR training program can provide SWs/CMs with formal strategies to facilitate older adults' acceptance of social services while balancing patient autonomy. Learning negotiating techniques can be "win-win" for both older adults' home safety and case manager well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-199
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Case Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • communication
  • continuing education
  • geriatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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