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   Infocentre

Published: 19 January 2016  
Related category(ies):
Health & life sciences  |  Research policy

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Austria  |  Croatia  |  Germany  |  Hungary  |  Netherlands  |  Norway  |  Spain  |  United Kingdom
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Joined-up care for patients with several illnesses

Unfortunately, dealing with one chronic disease doesn't mean that you can't develop another. More than 50 million people in Europe are living with more than one such condition, and this number is expected to grow. EU-funded researchers are looking into ways to provide them with more integrated support and redesign healthcare systems accordingly.

Photo of an Senior woman during medical examination

© jovannig - Fotolia.com

On the whole, patients with a combination of chronic conditions — diabetes and high blood pressure, for example — report poorer quality of life than people with a single illness, and their health status is worse. The added risk to their life and wellbeing derives not just from the diseases themselves, but also from the fact that they are combined. One reason is that people with such so-called co-morbidities or multi-morbidities can struggle to obtain coherent care.

Possible problems include a lack of collaboration among their doctors, conflicting advice and potentially interfering treatments, with compliance suffering as a result. The cost of care can also be an obstacle, as can the sheer complexity of keeping up with multiple consultations and appointments, which can be a time-consuming logistical challenge.

Difficulties such as these can limit the effectiveness of otherwise excellent treatment. They arise, in part, from the fact that healthcare systems are not traditionally designed with such cases in mind.

An EU-funded project named Selfie has set out to tackle the issue. “Multi-morbidity will become the number one threat to population health and economic sustainability of health care systems,” the researchers note.

The team is therefore identifying ways to provide more patient-centred and integrated care, and to back these approaches with adequate payment systems. Launched in September 2015, Selfie will engage with a wide range of stakeholders over a period of four years to deliver guidance, tools and strategies for healthcare authorities and policy-makers.

Project details

  • Project acronym: Selfie
  • Participants: Netherlands (Coordinator), Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Norway, Croatia, Hungary
  • Project reference: 634288
  • Total cost: € 5 472 447
  • EU contribution: € 5 472 447
  • Duration: September 2015 - September 2019

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  Botswana
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  Croatia
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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece