Effectiveness of Wraparound Versus Case Management for Children and Adolescents: Results of a Randomized Study

Eric J. Bruns, Michael D. Pullmann, April Sather, Ramona Denby Brinson, Michelle Ramey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this study, we compared service experiences and outcomes for youths with serious emotional disorder (SED) randomly assigned to care coordination via a defined wraparound process (n = 47) versus more traditional intensive case management (ICM; n = 46) The wraparound group received more mean hours of care management and services; however, there ultimately were no group differences in restrictiveness of residential placement, emotional and behavioral symptoms, or functioning. Wraparound implementation fidelity was found to be poor. Organizational culture and climate, and worker morale, were poorer for the wraparound providers than the ICM group. Results suggest that, for less-impaired youths with SED, less intensive options such as ICM may be equally effective to poor-quality wraparound delivered in the absence of wraparound implementation supports and favorable system conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Case management
  • Children and adolescents
  • Effectiveness
  • Serious emotional disorder
  • Treatment
  • Wraparound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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