Purpose: Multimorbidity challenges health systems globally. New models of care are urgently needed to better manage patients with multimorbidity; however, there is no agreed framework for designing and reporting models of care for multimorbidity and their evaluation.
Methods: Based on findings from a literature search to identify models of care for multimorbidity, we developed a framework to describe these models. We illustrate the application of the framework by identifying the focus and gaps in current models of care, and by describing the evolution of models over time.
Results: Our framework describes each model in terms of its theoretical basis and target population (the foundations of the model) and of the elements of care implemented to deliver the model. We categorized elements of care into 3 types: (1) clinical focus, (2) organization of care, (3) support for model delivery. Application of the framework identified a limited use of theory in model design and a strong focus on some patient groups (elderly, high users) more than others (younger patients, deprived populations). We found changes in elements with time, with a decrease in models implementing home care and an increase in models offering extended appointments.
Conclusions: By encouragin greater clarity about the underpinning theory and target population, and by categorizing the wide range of potentially important elements of an intervention to improve care for patients with multimorbidity, the framework may be useful in designing and reporting models of care and help advance the currently limited evidence base.
Keywords: chronic disease; framework; health systems; models of care; multimorbidity; primary care.
© 2017 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.