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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 1097: The Knowledge, Awareness, and Practices of Portuguese General Practitioners Regarding Multimorbidity and its Management: Qualitative Perspectives from Open-Ended Questions

08 Nov 2016

Multimorbidity’s high prevalence and negative impact has made it a subject of worldwide interest. The main aim of this study was to access the Portuguese knowledge, awareness, and practices of general practitioners (GPs) regarding multimorbidity and its management, in order to aid in the development of interventions for improving outcomes in multimorbid patients in primary care. A web-based qualitative descriptive study was carried out in the first trimester of 2016 with primary care physicians working in two districts of the Centre region of Portugal. Open-ended questions were analysed via inductive thematic content analysis. GPs pointed out several difficulties and challenges while managing multimorbidity. Extrinsic factors were associated with the healthcare system logistics’ management (consultation time, organization of care teams, clinical information) and society (media pressure, social/family support). Intrinsic factors related to the GP, patient, and physician-patient relationship were also stated. The most significant conclusion to emerge from this study is that although GPs perceived difficulties and challenges towards multimorbidity, they also have the tools to deal with them: the fundamental characteristics of family medicine. Also, the complex care required by multimorbid patients needs adequate consultation time, multidisciplinary teamwork, and more education/training.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health