Impact of comorbidity and multimorbidity on primary care practice
Comorbidity and multimorbidity are often defined as the co-existence of two or more long-term medical conditions. Comorbidity and multimorbidity have been shown to be associated with adverse health outcomes, such as poor quality of life, disability, psychological problems and increased mortality. They also associated with increased frequency of health-service use involving emergency hospital admission, adverse drug events, poly-pharmacy, duplicate testing and poor care co-ordination.
Presently, health care workers have limited guidance or experience as to how to approach care decisions for patients with multimorbidity. Medical training and clinical care has been largely informed by evidence and guidelines for single systems or diseases. Current clinical practice is increasingly specialist, with healthcare professionals often basing treatment decisions on relatively narrow aspects of an individual's health problems. As such our medical care system is particularly ill-prepared to deal with patients with comoribidity and multimorbidity. These issues are especially relevant in certain clinical settings, such as general practice and services caring for the aging population.
In this context, BMC Family Practice presents our special collection focused on the impact of comorbidity and multimoribidty on primary care. This thematic series examines the breadth of research on comorbidity and multimorbidity and their impact on clinical practice in primary care.
Some topics included in the series:
• Comorbid anxiety in patients with long-term conditions (LTCs)
• Access to care for patients with multimorbidity
• Patient perspectives on managing numerous LTCs, including the impact of treatment burden
• Medically unexplained symptoms
For further information, please email in-house editor Tovah Aronin at firstname.lastname@example.org