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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Agreement between self-reported and general practitioner-reported chronic conditions among multimorbid patients in primary care - results of the MultiCare Cohort Study

Heike Hansen1*, Ingmar Schäfer1, Gerhard Schön2, Steffi Riedel-Heller3, Jochen Gensichen4, Siegfried Weyerer5, Juliana J Petersen6, Hans-Helmut König7, Horst Bickel8, Angela Fuchs9, Susanne Höfels10, Birgitt Wiese11, Karl Wegscheider2, Hendrik van den Bussche1 and Martin Scherer1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Primary Medical Care, Center of Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany

2 Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, Center for Experimental Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany

3 Institute for Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health, University of Leipzig, Semmelweisstraße 10, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

4 Institute for General Practice, University of Jena, Bachstraße 18, 07743 Jena, Germany

5 Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany

6 Institute for General Practice, University of Frankfurt am Main, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

7 Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany

8 Institute of General Practice, Technical University of Munich, Ismaninger Straße 22, 81675 Munich, Germany

9 Department of General Practice, University of Düsseldorf, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

10 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Straße 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany

11 Institute for Biometry, Hannover Medical School, 30623 Hannover, Germany

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-39

Published: 1 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Multimorbidity is a common phenomenon in primary care. Until now, no clinical guidelines for multimorbidity exist. For the development of these guidelines, it is necessary to know whether or not patients are aware of their diseases and to what extent they agree with their doctor. The objectives of this paper are to analyze the agreement of self-reported and general practitioner-reported chronic conditions among multimorbid patients in primary care, and to discover which patient characteristics are associated with positive agreement.

Methods

The MultiCare Cohort Study is a multicenter, prospective, observational cohort study of 3,189 multimorbid patients, ages 65 to 85. Data was collected in personal interviews with patients and GPs. The prevalence proportions for 32 diagnosis groups, kappa coefficients and proportions of specific agreement were calculated in order to examine the agreement of patient self-reported and general practitioner-reported chronic conditions. Logistic regression models were calculated to analyze which patient characteristics can be associated with positive agreement.

Results

We identified four chronic conditions with good agreement (e.g. diabetes mellitus κ = 0.80;PA = 0,87), seven with moderate agreement (e.g. cerebral ischemia/chronic stroke κ = 0.55;PA = 0.60), seventeen with fair agreement (e.g. cardiac insufficiency κ = 0.24;PA = 0.36) and four with poor agreement (e.g. gynecological problems κ = 0.05;PA = 0.10).

Factors associated with positive agreement concerning different chronic diseases were sex, age, education, income, disease count, depression, EQ VAS score and nursing care dependency. For example: Women had higher odds ratios for positive agreement with their GP regarding osteoporosis (OR = 7.16). The odds ratios for positive agreement increase with increasing multimorbidity in almost all of the observed chronic conditions (OR = 1.22-2.41).

Conclusions

For multimorbidity research, the knowledge of diseases with high disagreement levels between the patients’ perceived illnesses and their physicians’ reports is important. The analysis shows that different patient characteristics have an impact on the agreement. Findings from this study should be included in the development of clinical guidelines for multimorbidity aiming to optimize health care. Further research is needed to identify more reasons for disagreement and their consequences in health care.

Trial registration

ISRCTN89818205

Keywords:
Agreement; Self-report; Physician report; Chronic diseases; Primary care; Multimorbidity