A recent study suggest that a major way to keep senior citizens with multiple chronic conditions healthy is through coordinated care. Through a review 0f 25 earlier studies using over 12,000 patients, researchers have found that patients with multiple chronic illnesses were show signs of improved health though coordinated care(2). Many of these patients had a combination of diabetes, heart disease, depression, lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.
“Over 62% of seniors today have one or more chronic illness, and do not receive coordinated care”
Over 62% of seniors today have one or more chronic illness, and do not receive coordinated care (1). Many of these patients visit multiple physicians who do not communicate; this can be particularly troublesome because one physician may have a totally different perspective than another and can prescribe medications that may stagnate or show no significant improvement to the patient’s disorder(s) or overall health. According to the study,
“..analyses showed that first, the intervention combination of case management + education + self-management significantly reduced depressive symptoms in older adults with [depression + COPD] or [DM + CVD], and reduced HbA1c levels in those with [DM + another disease]. Second, care-coordination or telemedicine interventions that included at least education as a component significantly reduced dyspnea-related disability and improved cognitive functioning in patients with [DM + depression] or [COPD + HF]. Third, the intervention combination of care pathways and education significantly increased use of mental health services in those with [DM + (depression or CVD)]” (2).
coordinated care reduced depressive symptoms and impaired functionality for patients with arthritis; this means of care improved the quality of life significantly (2). (This study tested a variety of care-coordination strategies for each type of patient.) There are many benefits to having care coordination implemented into routine care for seniors.