The challenges of multimorbidity from the patient perspective.
BACKGROUND: Although multiple co-occurring chronic illnesses within the same individual are increasingly common, few studies have examined the challenges of multimorbidity from the patient perspective. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to examine the self-management learning needs and willingness to see non-physician providers of patients with multimorbidity compared to patients with single chronic illnesses. DESIGN: This research is designed as a cross-sectional survey. PARTICIPANTS: Based upon ICD-9 codes, patients from a single VHA healthcare system were stratified into multimorbidity clusters or groups with a single chronic illness from the corresponding cluster. Nonproportional sampling was used to randomly select 720 patients. MEASUREMENTS: Demographic characteristics, functional status, number of contacts with healthcare providers, components of primary care, self-management learning needs, and willingness to see nonphysician providers. RESULTS: Four hundred twenty-two patients returned surveys. A higher percentage of multimorbidity patients compared to single morbidity patients were "definitely" willing to learn all 22 self-management skills, of these only 2 were not significant. Compared to patients with single morbidity, a significantly higher percentage of patients with multimorbidity also reported that they were "definitely" willing to see 6 of 11 non-physician healthcare providers. CONCLUSIONS: Self-management learning needs of multimorbidity patients are extensive, and their preferences are consistent with team-based primary care. Alternative methods of providing support and chronic illness care may be needed to meet the needs of these complex patients.
Noël, PH; Parchman, ML; Williams, JW; Cornell, JE; Shuko, L; Zeber, JE; Kazis, LE; Lee, AFS; Pugh, JA
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)