Guidelines for people not for diseases: the challenges of applying UK clinical guidelines to people with multimorbidity

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    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: currently one of the major challenges facing clinical guidelines is multimorbidity. Current guidelines are not designed to consider the cumulative impact of treatment recommendations on people with several conditions, nor to allow comparison of relative benefits or risks. This is despite the fact that multimorbidity is a common phenomenon. OBJECTIVE: to examine the extent to which National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines address patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance to treatment recommendations. METHODS: five NICE clinical guidelines were selected for review (type-2 diabetes mellitus, secondary prevention for people with myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression) as these conditions are common causes of comorbidity and the guidelines had all been produced since 2007. Two authors extracted information from each full guideline and noted the extent to which the guidelines accounted for patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance. The cumulative recommended treatment, follow-up and self-care regime for two hypothetical patients were then created to illustrate the potential cumulative impact of applying single disease recommendations to people with multimorbidity. RESULTS: comorbidity and patient adherence were inconsistently accounted for in the guidelines, ranging from extensive discussion to none at all. Patient centred care was discussed in generic terms across the guidelines with limited disease-specific recommendations for clinicians. Explicitly following guideline recommendations for our two hypothetical patients would lead to a considerable treatment burden, even when recommendations were followed for mild to moderate conditions. In addition, the follow-up and self-care regime was complex potentially presenting problems for patient compliance. CONCLUSION: clinical guidelines have played an important role in improving healthcare for people with long-term conditions. However, in people with multimorbidity current guideline recommendations rapidly cumulate to drive polypharmacy, without providing guidance on how best to prioritise recommendations for individuals in whom treatment burden will sometimes be overwhelming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-69
    Number of pages8
    JournalAge and Ageing
    Volume42
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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    Comorbidity
    Guidelines
    Patient Compliance
    Patient-Centered Care
    Aftercare
    National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
    Self Care
    Therapeutics
    Polypharmacy
    Secondary Prevention
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
    Myocardial Infarction
    Depression
    Delivery of Health Care

    Cite this

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    title = "Guidelines for people not for diseases: the challenges of applying UK clinical guidelines to people with multimorbidity",
    abstract = "BACKGROUND: currently one of the major challenges facing clinical guidelines is multimorbidity. Current guidelines are not designed to consider the cumulative impact of treatment recommendations on people with several conditions, nor to allow comparison of relative benefits or risks. This is despite the fact that multimorbidity is a common phenomenon. OBJECTIVE: to examine the extent to which National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines address patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance to treatment recommendations. METHODS: five NICE clinical guidelines were selected for review (type-2 diabetes mellitus, secondary prevention for people with myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression) as these conditions are common causes of comorbidity and the guidelines had all been produced since 2007. Two authors extracted information from each full guideline and noted the extent to which the guidelines accounted for patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance. The cumulative recommended treatment, follow-up and self-care regime for two hypothetical patients were then created to illustrate the potential cumulative impact of applying single disease recommendations to people with multimorbidity. RESULTS: comorbidity and patient adherence were inconsistently accounted for in the guidelines, ranging from extensive discussion to none at all. Patient centred care was discussed in generic terms across the guidelines with limited disease-specific recommendations for clinicians. Explicitly following guideline recommendations for our two hypothetical patients would lead to a considerable treatment burden, even when recommendations were followed for mild to moderate conditions. In addition, the follow-up and self-care regime was complex potentially presenting problems for patient compliance. CONCLUSION: clinical guidelines have played an important role in improving healthcare for people with long-term conditions. However, in people with multimorbidity current guideline recommendations rapidly cumulate to drive polypharmacy, without providing guidance on how best to prioritise recommendations for individuals in whom treatment burden will sometimes be overwhelming.",
    author = "Hughes, {Lloyd D.} and McMurdo, {Marion E. T.} and Bruce Guthrie",
    note = "Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.",
    year = "2013",
    month = "1",
    doi = "10.1093/ageing/afs100",
    language = "English",
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    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Guidelines for people not for diseases

    T2 - the challenges of applying UK clinical guidelines to people with multimorbidity

    AU - Hughes, Lloyd D.

    AU - McMurdo, Marion E. T.

    AU - Guthrie, Bruce

    N1 - Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    PY - 2013/1

    Y1 - 2013/1

    N2 - BACKGROUND: currently one of the major challenges facing clinical guidelines is multimorbidity. Current guidelines are not designed to consider the cumulative impact of treatment recommendations on people with several conditions, nor to allow comparison of relative benefits or risks. This is despite the fact that multimorbidity is a common phenomenon. OBJECTIVE: to examine the extent to which National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines address patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance to treatment recommendations. METHODS: five NICE clinical guidelines were selected for review (type-2 diabetes mellitus, secondary prevention for people with myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression) as these conditions are common causes of comorbidity and the guidelines had all been produced since 2007. Two authors extracted information from each full guideline and noted the extent to which the guidelines accounted for patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance. The cumulative recommended treatment, follow-up and self-care regime for two hypothetical patients were then created to illustrate the potential cumulative impact of applying single disease recommendations to people with multimorbidity. RESULTS: comorbidity and patient adherence were inconsistently accounted for in the guidelines, ranging from extensive discussion to none at all. Patient centred care was discussed in generic terms across the guidelines with limited disease-specific recommendations for clinicians. Explicitly following guideline recommendations for our two hypothetical patients would lead to a considerable treatment burden, even when recommendations were followed for mild to moderate conditions. In addition, the follow-up and self-care regime was complex potentially presenting problems for patient compliance. CONCLUSION: clinical guidelines have played an important role in improving healthcare for people with long-term conditions. However, in people with multimorbidity current guideline recommendations rapidly cumulate to drive polypharmacy, without providing guidance on how best to prioritise recommendations for individuals in whom treatment burden will sometimes be overwhelming.

    AB - BACKGROUND: currently one of the major challenges facing clinical guidelines is multimorbidity. Current guidelines are not designed to consider the cumulative impact of treatment recommendations on people with several conditions, nor to allow comparison of relative benefits or risks. This is despite the fact that multimorbidity is a common phenomenon. OBJECTIVE: to examine the extent to which National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines address patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance to treatment recommendations. METHODS: five NICE clinical guidelines were selected for review (type-2 diabetes mellitus, secondary prevention for people with myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression) as these conditions are common causes of comorbidity and the guidelines had all been produced since 2007. Two authors extracted information from each full guideline and noted the extent to which the guidelines accounted for patient comorbidity, patient centred care and patient compliance. The cumulative recommended treatment, follow-up and self-care regime for two hypothetical patients were then created to illustrate the potential cumulative impact of applying single disease recommendations to people with multimorbidity. RESULTS: comorbidity and patient adherence were inconsistently accounted for in the guidelines, ranging from extensive discussion to none at all. Patient centred care was discussed in generic terms across the guidelines with limited disease-specific recommendations for clinicians. Explicitly following guideline recommendations for our two hypothetical patients would lead to a considerable treatment burden, even when recommendations were followed for mild to moderate conditions. In addition, the follow-up and self-care regime was complex potentially presenting problems for patient compliance. CONCLUSION: clinical guidelines have played an important role in improving healthcare for people with long-term conditions. However, in people with multimorbidity current guideline recommendations rapidly cumulate to drive polypharmacy, without providing guidance on how best to prioritise recommendations for individuals in whom treatment burden will sometimes be overwhelming.

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    U2 - 10.1093/ageing/afs100

    DO - 10.1093/ageing/afs100

    M3 - Article

    C2 - 22910303

    VL - 42

    SP - 62

    EP - 69

    JO - Age and Ageing

    JF - Age and Ageing

    SN - 0002-0729

    IS - 1

    ER -