Quality of care assessment for people with multimorbidity

J. M. Valderas, J. Gangannagaripalli, E. Nolte, C. M. Boyd, M. Roland, A. Sarria-Santamera, E. Jones, M. Rijken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multimorbidity, the simultaneous presence of multiple health conditions in an individual, is an increasingly common phenomenon globally. The systematic assessment of the quality of care delivered to people with multimorbidity will be key to informing the organization of services for meeting their complex needs. Yet, current assessments tend to focus on single conditions and do not capture the complex processes that are required for providing care for people with multimorbidity. We conducted a scoping review on quality of care and multimorbidity in selected databases in June 2018 and identified 87 documents as eligible for review, predominantly original research and reviews from North America, Europe and Australasia and mostly frequently related to primary care settings. We synthesized data qualitatively in terms of perceived challenges, evidence and proposed metrics. Findings reveal that the association between quality of care and multimorbidity is complex and depends on the conditions involved (quality appears to be higher for those with concordant conditions, and lower in the presence of discordant conditions) and the approach used for measuring quality (quality appears to be higher in people with multimorbidity when measured using condition/drug-specific process or intermediate outcome indicators, and worse when using patient-centred reports of experiences of care). People with discordant multimorbidity may be disadvantaged by current approaches to quality assessment, particularly when they are linked to financial incentives. A better understanding of models of care that best meet the needs of this group is needed for developing appropriate quality assessment frameworks. Capturing patient preferences and values and incorporate patients’ voices in the form of patient-reported experiences and outcomes of care will be critical towards the achievement of high-performing health systems that are responsive to the needs of people with multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • comorbidity
  • health systems performance assessment
  • multimorbidity
  • patient reported outcomes measures
  • patient safety
  • quality of health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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