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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Training doctors to manage patients with multimorbidity: a systematic review

By Cliona Lewis and Susan Smith

We have published a systematic review of the literature addressing training of doctors in the management of patients with multimorbidity [1]. Overall, 75,110 citations were screened, of which 68 full-text articles were then assessed for eligibility, and just two studies met the inclusion criteria for the review.
While much has been published about the challenges presented by patients with multimorbidity, the issue of educating doctors to manage these patients has been poorly addressed. The two studies presented in this review implemented and evaluated multimorbidity workshops, and provide a basis for further research. It remains to be determined whether there is a specific need for training of doctors to manage patients with multimorbidity, and if so, how that need can best be met. It also remains to be proven that improving knowledge, skills and confidence of doctors results in improved care of this patient group. We have identified existing literature that provides a platform for management of these patients, and for curriculum development in training doctors in the management of multimorbidity. Incorporation of emerging guidelines and research findings into multimorbidity training curricula for doctors is needed in order to optimise practice and enhance the competence and confidence of doctors in managing this challenging population of patients, with the ultimate aim of improving clinical outcomes.
1) Lewis C, Wallace E, Kyne L, Cullen W, Smith SM. Training doctors to manage patients with multimorbidity: a systematic review. Journal of Comorbidity 2016;6(2):85–94. DOI: 10.15256/joc.2016.6.87

‘Addressing the global challenge of multimorbidity’: Call for written evidence

The Academy of Medical Sciences has recently launched a new working group project on ‘Addressing the global challenge of multimorbidity’ and is seeking your views on multimorbidity as an international health challenge.

Throughout the world, as life expectancy increases, the population incidence of non-communicable diseases is also increasing. Further, communicable diseases, with both their short and long term sequelae, continue to affect millions of people every year. Together, all of these factors mean that multimorbidity has become, and will increasingly be, an international health challenge.

However, currently there is no commonly used framework for defining or more widely understanding multimorbidity. Further, most health related research is currently focused on the prevention and management of disorders in isolation. Consequently, it is difficult to compile a coherent body of research in this area or develop evidence-based strategies for use in healthcare systems. In order to address the challenge of multimorbidity, we must understand the problem better.

The questions outlined in the call for written evidence have therefore been developed to gather information on the definition(s) of multimorbidity, better understand the current knowledge base on multimorbidity as an international health challenge, and to gather opinions about future priorities and opportunities.

This call is part of our process of gathering external input into the project, and we would welcome responses from external stakeholders, including researchers, healthcare professionals, research institutions, funders, industry, patients and members of the public.

The deadline for submission is 30 November 2016.

For more information about the project and to submit a response, please visit the Academy’s website. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Rachel Brown (rachel.brown@acmedsci.ac.uk).