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Integrated healthcare for chronically ill. Reflections on the gap between science and practice and how to bridge the gap

Author:

Wilma van der Vlegel-Brouwer

NL
About Wilma
MCTD, Policy advisor integrated care, IJsselland hospital, Pr. Constantijnweg 2, 2906 ZC, Capelle aan den IJssel,  The Netherlands
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Abstract

Integrated care offers an opportunity to address healthcare efficiency and effectiveness concerns and is especially relevant for elderly patients with different chronic illnesses.

In current care standards for chronic care focus is often on one disease. The chronic care model (CCM) is used as the basis of integrated care programs. It identifies essential components that encourage high-quality chronic disease care, involving the community and health system and including self-management support, delivery system design, decision support, and clinical information systems. Improvements in those interrelated components can produce system reform in which informed, activated patients interact with prepared, proactive practice teams. There is however a lack of research evidence for the impact of the chronic care model as a full model.

Integrated care programmes have widely varying definitions and components and failure to recognize these variations leads to inappropriate conclusions about the effectiveness of these programmes and to inappropriate application of research results. It seems important to carefully consider the type and amount of data that are collected within the disease management programmes for several purposes, as well as the methods of data collection.

Understanding and changing the behavior of complex dynamic chronic care system requires an appreciation of its key patterns, leverage points and constraints. A different theoretical framework, that embraces complexity, is required. Research should be design-based, context bound and address relationships among agents in order to provide solutions that address locally defined demands and circumstances.
How to Cite: van der Vlegel-Brouwer W. Integrated healthcare for chronically ill. Reflections on the gap between science and practice and how to bridge the gap. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2013;13(2):None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.1079
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Published on 17 May 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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