Stroke follow-up in primary care: a Norwegian modeling study on the implications of multi morbidity for guideline adherence
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataVis full innførsel
OriginalversjonBMC Family Practice. 2019, 20 (1), 1-10. 10.1186/s12875-019-1021-9
Background Specialized acute treatment and high-quality follow-up is meant to reduce mortality and disability from stroke. While the acute treatment for stroke takes place in hospitals, the follow-up of stroke survivors largely takes place in general practice. National guidelines give recommendations for the follow-up. However, previous studies suggest that guidelines are not sufficiently adhered to. It has been suggested that this might be due to the complexity of general practice. A part of this complexity is constituted by patients’ multimorbidity; the presence of two or more chronic conditions in the same person. In this study we investigated the extent of multimorbidity among stroke survivors residing in the communities. The aim was to assess the implications of multimorbidity for the follow-up of stroke in general practice. Methods The study was a cross sectional analysis of the prevalence of multimorbidity among stroke survivors in Mid-Norway. We included 51 patients, listed with general practitioners in 18 different clinics. The material consists of the general practitioners’ medical records for these patients. The medical records for each patient were reviewed in a search for diagnoses corresponding to a predefined list of morbidities, resulting in a list of chronic conditions for each participant. These 51 lists were the basis for the subsequent analysis. In this analysis we modelled different hypothetical patients and assessed the implications of adhering to all clinical guidelines affecting their diseases. Result All 51 patients met the criteria for multimorbidity. On average the patients had 4.7 (SD: 1.9) chronic conditions corresponding to the predefined list of morbidities. By modelling implications of guideline adherence for a patient with an average number of co-morbidities, we found that 10–11 annual consultations with the general practitioner were needed for the follow-up of the stable state of the chronic conditions. More consultations were needed for patients with more complex multimorbidity. Conclusions Multimorbidity had a clear impact on the basis for the follow-up of patients with stroke in general practice. Adhering to the guidelines for each condition is challenging, even for patients with few co-morbidities. For patients with complex multimorbidity, adhering to the guidelines is obviously unmanageable.