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Category Archives: Others

Publications on multimorbidity January-April 2018

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period January – April 2018 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

The Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire: a new generic instrument for measuring outcomes in primary care

By Mairead Murphy and Chris Salisbury
The majority of primary care consultations are by patients with multiple long-term conditions [1]. With ninety percent of all patient interaction with health services in the UK going through primary care, it’s not surprising that primary care clinicians and researchers try to figure out ways to improve services for their patients. Interventions are many and varied, and result in important questions about their effectiveness. Do electronic consultations offer a good service to patients? If GPs introduce advice on healthy lifestyles into the consultation, does it make patients healthier? What about increasing the duration of GP appointments to ten minutes – does this improve outcomes for patients? Or ensuring that patients always see the same named doctor? Or painting the waiting room green?
Questions like these are normally answered by administration of a generic patient-reported questionnaire. By comparing the responses of groups of patients (say those with eight-minute consultations and those with ten-minute consultations), researchers can see which group has the highest scores, and therefore whether one method of delivering care is better than the other.
Although this might sound a simple process, in practice it is not so easy. The problem is that primary care delivers a range of outcomes, some of which are more directly health-related than others. The recent blog on this site by Susan Smith (Identifying key outcomes for multimorbidity research April 19th) found that 17 core outcomes were important to measure in people with long-term conditions. These included outcomes related to mortality, health-related quality of life, patient behaviours, shared decision making and quality of health services. When we explored this issue in 2015, we similarly found that primary care patients, both those with and without long term conditions want broad range of outcomes [2]. Some of these, such as reduction in pain or depression, are captured on most generic patient-reported questionnaires. But others, such as reduction in concern, a sense of confidence in health plan, or an understanding of illnesses/problems and an ability to manage symptoms, are less well-captured.
This is why we have designed a new questionnaire, called the Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire, or the PCOQ. The PCOQ was designed in consultation with patients [3] specifically to measure outcomes which many primary care patients seek, and which GPs seek to deliver. It contains 24 questions in four areas: health and well-being; health knowledge and understanding; confidence in health plan; and confidence in health provision. We quantitatively tested the PCOQ in a sample of primary care patients and found that it was easy for patients to complete, had construct validity, and able to show change in each of the four areas. We published these findings in March in the BJGP [4]. We have made the PCOQ available free of charge for non-commercial use and hope that researchers will find it useful for assessing the effectiveness of interventions in primary care. In the future, we plan to test the PCOQ for use in routine clinical practice.
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1. Salisbury, C., et al., Epidemiology and impact of multimorbidity in primary care: a retrospective cohort study. British Journal of General Practice, 2011. 61(582): p. e12-21.
2. Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Turner K, Salisbury C. Patient and practitioners’ views on the most important outcomes arising from primary care consultations: a qualitative study. BMC Fam Practice 2015;16:108. Doi: 10.1186/s12875-015-0323-9
3. Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Salisbury C. Qualitative assessment of the primary care outcomes questionnaire: a cognitive interview study, BMC Health Services Research 2018 10.1186/s12913-018-2867-6
4. Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Cowlishaw S, Salisbury C. Psychometric Testing of the Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire, British Journal of General Practice, 26th March 2018,10.3399/bjgp18X695765

Publications on multimorbidity September- December 2017

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period September – December 2017 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Multimorbidity has become a Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) in 2018

By Martin Fortin
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) is the National Library of Medicine (NLM)’s controlled vocabulary thesaurus. It consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity.
The MeSH thesaurus is used by NLM for indexing articles from the world’s leading biomedical journals for the MEDLINE®/PubMED® database.
Until the end of 2017, the term multimorbidity was not a MeSH. The term was a subheading under the term comorbidity. As a consequence, a search for the term multimorbidity in PubMED yielded thousands of publications that included those using the term multimorbidity and/or comorbidity.
Starting in January 2018, multimorbidity is now a MeSH heading:
This will facilitate the indexing and search of articles on this subject.
We believe that the ever increasing number of publications on multimorbidity, which includes articles from those participating in this community, has led to the recognition of the importance of the term, and deserves a congratulation to all those who have contributed to making the term achieve this important recognition.

A portrayal of the patient-reported outcomes used in multimorbidity intervention research

By Maxime Sasseville
Heterogeneity in outcome measures used in multimorbidity intervention research currently leads to a lack of consistent evidence to support clinical implementation. Understanding the current state of patient-reported outcome assessment is an important endeavor for multimorbidity research and policy-making, as its use contributes to a patient-centered approach.
This scoping review [1] aimed to describe patient-reported outcomes in the context of chronic disease management interventions for people with multimorbidity. Specifically, the objectives of the review were 1) to portray the current use of patient-reported outcomes in multimorbidity interventions; and 2) to propose a descriptive classification system according to the different types of outcomes identified.
Twenty-two studies were identified from which 56 outcomes measures were reported. The measures were grouped into 18 categories and six emergent domains of outcomes: General health, Psychosocial, Disease management, Health-related behaviours, Functional and Health services. Quality of life, health-related behaviors and self-efficacy were the most reported outcome categories, while patient satisfaction, communication with providers and adverse outcomes were rarely reported.
The organization proposed in this paper could contribute to improving outcome selection for research, clinical care and policy and lead to the creation of adapted patient-related outcome measures. Consistent design of outcome assessment between multimorbidity intervention study could lead to a more coherent body of evidence for clinical implementation.
The article can be freely accessed until December 15 2017 by following this link:
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[1] Sasseville, M., Chouinard, M. C., & Fortin, M. (2017). Patient-reported outcomes in multimorbidity intervention research: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 77 145-153

An International Perspective on Chronic Multimorbidity: Approaching the Elephant in the Room

By Davide L Vetrano and Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga
Multimorbidity is a common and burdensome condition that may affect quality of life, increase medical needs and make people live more years of life with disability. Negative outcomes related to multimorbidity occur beyond what we would expect from the summed effect of single conditions, as chronic diseases interact with each other, mutually enhancing their negative effects, and eventually leading to new clinical phenotypes. Moreover, multimorbidity mirrors an accelerated global susceptibility and a loss of resilience, which are both hallmarks of aging. Due to the complexity of its assessment and definition, and the lack of clear evidence steering its management, multimorbidity represents one of the main current challenges for clinicians, researchers and policymakers.
Together with an international group of researchers, we reflected on these issues during two twin international symposia at the 2016 European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, and the 2016 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) meeting in New Orleans, USA. The results of this discussion have been reported in an article [1] that we recently published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. In this work we summarize the most relevant aspects related to multimorbidity, with the ultimate goal to identify knowledge gaps and suggest future directions to approach this condition.
This open access article can be found in the following link:
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[1] Vetrano DL, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Marengoni A, Onder G, Bauer JM, Cesari M, Ferrucci L, Fratiglioni L. An international perspective on chronic multimorbidity: approaching the elephant in the room. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Sep 16. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx178.

Publications on multimorbidity May – August 2017

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period May – October 2017 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Appreciation of Dr. Martin Fortin’s work on multimorbidity

Dr. Martin Fortin is one of the 5 founders the International Research Community on Multimorbidity. He is still a dedicated and active member of the community and its online blog. In the last few weeks, Dr. Fortin’s contribution in advancing knowledge on multimorbidity in primary care deserved the attention from two sources:
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Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) Induction Ceremony was held in Ottawa on September 14, 2017. This year, the Academy welcomed 52 new members. Among this group, Dr. Martin Fortin received this honour for his career as a family physician, teacher and researcher. Induction into CAHS is considered one of the highest and prestigious honours for members of the health sciences community in Canada.
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Canadian Family Physician
Dr. Martin Fortin’s work was the subject of the cover story of the Canadian Family Physician’s journal. The article, written by Sarah de Leeuw, is titled: Courage, relationships, and applicability – Big research from small places. The article describes Dr. Fortin’s journey and research on the topic of multimorbidity in a regional context. Dr. Fortin is the Research Chair on Chronic Diseases in Primary Care.
To read the article: www.cfp.ca
Congratulations Dr. Fortin!

Publications on multimorbidity January – April 2017

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period January – April 2017 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Comorbidity and progression of late onset Alzheimer’s Disease: A systematic review

By Miriam L. Haaksma
and Lara R. Vilela, Alessandra Marengoni, Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, Jeannie-Marie S. Leoutsakos, Marcel G.M. Olde Rikkert, René J.F. Melis.
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Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by multiple dimensions including cognitive decline, decreased daily functioning and psychiatric symptoms. This systematic review [1] aimed to investigate the relation between somatic comorbidity burden and progression in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). We searched four databases for observational studies that examined cross-sectional or longitudinal associations of cognitive or functional or neuropsychiatric outcomes with comorbidity in individuals with LOAD. From the 7966 articles identified originally, 11 studies were included in this review. Nine studies indicated that comorbidity burden was associated with deterioration in at least one of the three dimensions of LOAD examined. Seven out of ten studies investigating cognition found comorbidities to be related to decreased cognitive performance. Five out of the seven studies investigating daily functioning showed an association between comorbidity burden and decreased daily functioning. Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) increased with increasing comorbidity burden in two out of three studies investigating NPS. Associations were predominantly found in studies analyzing the association cross-sectionally, in a time-varying manner or across short follow-up (≤2 years). Rarely baseline comorbidity burden appeared to be associated with outcomes in studies analyzing progression over longer follow-up periods (>2 years). This review provides evidence of an association between somatic comorbidities and multifaceted LOAD progression. Given that time-varying comorbidity burden, but much less so baseline comorbidity burden, was associated with the three dimensions prospectively, this relationship cannot be reduced to a simple cause-effect relation and is more likely to be dynamic. Therefore, both future studies and clinical practice may benefit from regarding comorbidity as a modifiable factor with a possibly fluctuating influence on LOAD.
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