Chronic disease care needs to be less disruptive for patients

Patients with multiple long-term conditions need to be given better coordinated healthcare if their outcomes are to improve, researchers from Newcastle University believe.

In a paper published online in the BMJ, the researchers pointed out that the burden of chronic illness falls not only on health services but also on patients and carers, as the work of managing chronic disease shifts from clinic to home.

‘Treatment burdens are often imposed on patients with little coordination between, or even within, clinics dealing with different conditions and little explicit recognition that treatment regimens are demanding in time and effort,' Carl May, professor of medical sociology at Newcastle University and his co-authors said.

They called for ‘minimally disruptive medicine', which seeks to tailor treatment regimens to the realities of patients' daily lives. ‘Such an approach could greatly improve the care and quality of life for patients,' they argued.

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