Entete 3

A survey on the definition of multimorbidity: WE NEED YOUR INPUT!

By Martin Fortin and Marcello Tonelli

We have seen many different operational definitions of multimorbidity. In fact, the list of chronic conditions considered by different authors varies from less than 10 to all possible diagnoses. A team of Canadian researchers is submitting a research proposal to a funding agency and need your input in giving weight to the definition of multimorbidity that we propose future studies use. We are conducting a three-question survey that should take you about one minute to complete. The questions are:

1. Where are you from?
1) Canada; 2) USA; 3) Europe; 4) Asia; 5) Australia/New Zealand; 6) South/Central America 7) Other

2. Many different definitions of multimorbidity have been used in previous studies. How important is it that future studies use definitions that are similar to those previously used, to allow comparisons with prior and future work?
1) Very important; 2) Somewhat important; 3) Neither important nor unimportant; 4) Somewhat unimportant; 5) Not important

3. If asked to recommend an existing list of chronic conditions or diseases that should be more broadly used in future studies on the operational definition of multimorbidity in adult populations, which would you suggest?
1) Barnett et al; 2) Bayliss et al; 3) O’Halloran et al; 4) Muggah et al; 5) Canadian Community Health Survey; 6) Other (please specify)

Blog subscribers will receive the link to complete the survey, by email. Those who are not subscribed to the blog, but would like to complete the survey, are invited to contact José Almirall at jose.almirall@usherbrooke.ca to receive the link by email. The deadline to participate in the survey is February 7, 2013.

Please consider completing the survey and helping us out. Your input is important. Many thanks for your help.

Click here to see the responses to the survey.


  • 1
    January 23, 2013 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Very interesting initiative, we have been disseminated among our users to complete your survey.

    We’d like to invite you to know the glossary created at OPIMEC about complex chronic disease and participate in its development and improvement.

    Thank you

  • 2
    Christopher Harrison
    January 30, 2013 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    This survey is a great use of this forum.

    A clear and shared definition of multimorbidity is crucial to unifying research on this topic.

    However, I felt that question two was hard to answer. I certainly believe it is important to be able to compare our results over time, but not as important for the future of this research field as having an agreed definition of multimorbidity.

    If you still have the raw data from your earlier work you can still compare over time by applying the new definition to the earlier data.

  • 3
    Matthew Menear
    January 31, 2013 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    This is a nice initiative. Ensuring that results can be compared across studies has clear importance for the field.

    A few points are worth mentioning. First, some data on chronic diseases may be easier or harder to obtain depending on the source of the data available to researchers. The type and detailed nature of information that can be gathered directly from patients on their chronic diseases (self-report) often will be quite different from what you could get from medical records or databases. If there is consensus that one list of diseases is better than the others, will that list then be appropriate for gathering information across different data sources?

    Also, these lists are often constructed based on various forms of impact (e.g. prevalence, impact on costs, mortality, service use, etc.). However, as important it is to consider which conditions make the list, it’s also important for equity reasons to consider the impact of leaving conditions out and possibly diverting research attention away from them (and the patients with those conditions).

    Similarly, I think it’s very important to consider the types of conditions covered by the list. A few of them gather very little information on the mental disorders that patients may suffer from. As someone who does research in mental health and public health, this is a glaring omission in my view.

    Having results that can be compared is critical, but diversity should not be viewed as a negative for the field either.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *