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How can eHealth technology address challenges related to multimorbidity?

By Donna Zulman

Patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) face substantial self-management challenges related to having multiple health issues. For example, patients with MCCs frequently face unwieldy medication regimens and daily self-care routines that may reduce adherence to recommended treatment plans. They also often need to track and coordinate health information from different health care providers and monitor and distinguish between symptoms from different diseases. As a result, there is a great need for effective tools to support the self-care activities associated with multimorbidity. Patient-facing “eHealth” technology may provide opportunities to address these patients’ needs.

We conducted a qualitative study [1] (published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine) with patients with MCCs to explore their self-management and health care navigation challenges, and to identify opportunities to support these patients through new and enhanced eHealth technology. Three themes emerged to guide eHealth technology development: (1) Patients with MCCs manage a high volume of information, visits, and self-care tasks; (2) they need to coordinate, synthesize, and reconcile health information from multiple providers and about different conditions; and (3) their unique position at the hub of multiple health issues requires self-advocacy and expertise. Focus groups identified desirable eHealth resources and tools that reflect these themes.

The abstract of the article can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25691239

1) Zulman DM, Jenchura EC, Cohen DM, Lewis ET, Houston TK, Asch SM. How can eHealth technology address challenges related to multimorbidity? Perspectives from patients with multiple chronic conditions. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 [Epub ahead of print]).

One comment

  • 1
    February 28, 2015 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Rural poor is plagued with multiple chronic conditions and are faced with severe social-economic calamity.

    Self-management is a challenge for uneducated section of the community. Unqualified and untrained rural health practitioners cause a blow by ‘ill-treating’ and exploiting the vulnerable section of population leading to multi-morbidity which could have been easily tackled by qualified Primary Health Care Nurse or Physician.

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