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How to improve care for people with multimorbidity in Europe?

Rijken M, Struckmann V, van der Heide I, Hujala A, Barbabella F, van Ginneken E, Schellevis F
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
Policy Brief 23, ISSN 1997-8073


Almost all European countries are coping with an increasing prevalence of multimorbidity as medical technology advan- ces and people live longer. Having multiple chronic diseases is associated with poor quality of life as well as increasing mortality and disability rates. The increasing number of  people living with multimorbidity constitutes a challenge for health care in European countries. Care systems in Europe are currently highly fragmented and organized around single diseases. This way of organizing care delivery is not respon- sive to the needs of patients with multimorbidity because their multiple conditions require care from multiple care  professionals. Furthermore, disease-specific treatment guide- lines may not apply to those with multiple chronic conditions as they may be mutually incompatible. Providing patient- centred integrated care to patients with multimorbidity is a potential solution, but how to do this in practice remains  poorly understood.

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