Case study of how successful coordination was achieved between a mental health and social care service in Sweden

Johan Hansson*, John Øvretveit, Mats Brommels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper summarises the findings from an empirical longitudinal study of a health and social care consortium for people with mental health problems in one area in Stockholm. The aim was to describe the formation and structure of coordination within the consortium, and to assess the intermediate impact on care processes and client outcomes. A multiple-method case study design, theoretically informed by the Pettigrew and Whipp model of strategic change (1993) was applied. Data was gathered from interviews with informants from different organisations at different times in the development of the consortium, and from administrative documents, plans and service statistics showing some of the intermediate changes and client outcomes. The findings revealed activities and factors both helping and hindering the formation of coordination arrangements. One of the most significant hindering factors was the central county purchasing organisation focusing more on volume and costs, with payments for specific units and services, and with less emphasis on quality of the services. Few studies have described implementation of changes to improve coordination with reference to context over a long period of time, as well as assessing different results. This study contributes to knowledge about improved methods for this type of research, as well as knowledge about developing coordination between public health and welfare services. One lesson for the current policy is that, where full structural integration is not possible, then client-level coordination roles in each sector are useful to connect sector services for shared clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e132-e145
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study research
  • Innovation implementation
  • Integrated care
  • Mental health care


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