Working Alliances Promote Desirable Outcomes: A Study of Case Management in the State of Alabama in the USA

Tyrone Cheng, University of Alabama
Celia C. Lo, Texas Woman's University
Bethany G. Womack, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


This study was an examination of clients' outcomes in community-based case management, specifically those outcomes' relationships to clients' characteristics and to working alliances between case manager and client. Study data were collected using a survey of adults who received help from community-based social service agencies (n=101). Results showed that client-case manager working alliances promoted improvement in client problems, although improvement was hindered by worsening problem severity. Clients' outcomes were not significantly associated with their health, mental health or substance-use problems, or with social support they enjoyed, or with their gender, ethnicity, age or agency serving them. Based on this study, working alliance is an effective, even essential, intervention alleviating clients' problems.