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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Physicians' perceptions of capacity building for managing chronic disease in seniors using integrated interprofessional care models

Linda Lee, George Heckman, Robert McKelvie, Philip Jong, Teresa D'Elia, Loretta M Hillier
Canadian Family Physician M├ędecin de Famille Canadien 2015, 61 (3): e148-57
25932482

OBJECTIVE: To explore the barriers to and facilitators of adapting and expanding a primary care memory clinic model to integrate care of additional complex chronic geriatric conditions (heart failure, falls, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and frailty) into care processes with the goal of improving outcomes for seniors.

DESIGN: Mixed-methods study using quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (interviews) methods.

SETTING: Ontario.

PARTICIPANTS: Family physicians currently working in primary care memory clinic teams and supporting geriatric specialists.

METHODS: Family physicians currently working in memory clinic teams (n = 29) and supporting geriatric specialists(n = 9) were recruited as survey participants. Interviews were conducted with memory clinic lead physicians (n = 16).Statistical analysis was done to assess differences between family physician ratings and geriatric specialist ratings related to the capacity for managing complex chronic geriatric conditions, the role of interprofessional collaboration within primary care, and funding and staffing to support geriatric care. Results from both study methods were compared to identify common findings.

MAIN FINDINGS: Results indicate overall support for expanding the memory clinic model to integrate care for other complex conditions. However, the current primary care structure is challenged to support optimal management of patients with multiple comorbidities, particularly as related to limited funding and staffing resources. Structured training, interprofessional teams, and an active role of geriatric specialists within primary care were identified as important facilitators.

CONCLUSION: The memory clinic model, as applied to other complex chronic geriatric conditions, has the potential to build capacity for high-quality primary care, improve health outcomes,promote efficient use of health care resources, and reduce healthcare costs.

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