Does patient experience of multimorbidity predict self-management and health outcomes in a prospective study in primary care?

Cassandra Kenning, Peter A Coventry, Chris Gibbons, Penny Bee, Louise Fisher, Peter Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: There is a need to better understand the mechanisms which lead to poor outcomes in patients with multimorbidity, especially those factors that might be amenable to intervention.

OBJECTIVE: This research aims to explore what factors predict self-management behaviour and health outcomes in patients with multimorbidity in primary care in the UK.

METHODS: A prospective study design was used. Questionnaires were mailed out to 1460 patients with multimorbidity. Patients were asked to complete a range of self-report measures including measures of multimorbidity, measures of their experience of multimorbidity and service delivery and outcomes (three measures of self-management: behaviours, Self-monitoring and Insight and medication adherence; and a measure of self-reported health).

RESULTS: In total, 36% (n = 499) of patients responded to the baseline survey and 80% of those respondents completed follow-up. Self-management behaviour at 4 months was predicted by illness perceptions around the consequences of individual conditions. Self-monitoring and Insight at 4 months was predicted by patient experience of 'Hassles' in health services. Self-reported medication adherence at 4 months was predicted by health status, Self-monitoring and Insight and 'Hassles' in health services. Perceived health status at 4 months was predicted by age and patient experience of multimorbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: This research shows that different factors, particularly around patients' experiences of health care and control over their treatment, impact on various types of self-management. Patient experience of multimorbidity was not a critical predictor of self-management but did predict health status in the short term. The findings can help to develop and target interventions that might improve outcomes in patients with multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

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