What research agenda could be generated from the European General Practice Research Network concept of Multimorbidity in Family Practice?

  • Le Reste J
  • Nabbe P
  • Lingner H
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: Multimorbidity is an intuitively appealing, yet challenging, concept for Family Medicine (FM). An EGPRN working group has published a comprehensive definition of the concept based on a systematic review of the literature which is closely linked to patient complexity and to the biopsychosocial model. This concept was identified by European Family Physicians (FPs) throughout Europe using 13 qualitative surveys. To further our understanding of the issues around multimorbidity, we needed to do innovative research to clarify this concept. The research question for this survey was: what research agenda could be generated for Family Medicine from the EGPRN concept of Multimorbidity? METHODS: Nominal group design with a purposive panel of experts in the field of multimorbidity. The nominal group worked through four phases: ideas generation phase, ideas recording phase, evaluation and analysis phase and a prioritization phase. RESULTS: Fifteen international experts participated. A research agenda was established, featuring 6 topics and 11 themes with their corresponding study designs. The highest priorities were given to the following topics: measuring multimorbidity and the impact of multimorbidity. In addition the experts stressed that the concept should be simplified. This would be best achieved by working in reverse: starting with the outcomes and working back to find the useful variables within the concept. CONCLUSION: The highest priority for future research on multimorbidity should be given to measuring multimorbidity and to simplifying the EGPRN model, using a pragmatic approach to determine the useful variables within the concept from its outcomes

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