Development of an intervention to support medication management in patients with multimorbidity in primary care

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Sinnott, Carol
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University College Cork
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The overarching aim of this thesis was to develop an intervention to support patient-centred prescribing in the context of multimorbidity in primary care. Methods A range of research methods were used to address different components of the Medical Research Council, UK (MRC) guidance on the development and evaluation of complex interventions in health care. The existing evidence on GPs’ perceptions of the management of multimorbidity was systematically reviewed. In qualitative interviews, chart-stimulated recall was used to explore the challenges experienced by GPs when prescribing for multimorbid patients. In a cross-sectional study, the psychosocial issues that complicate the management of multimorbidity were examined. To develop the complex intervention, the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) was used to integrate behavioural theory with the findings of these three studies. A feasibility study of the new intervention was then conducted with GPs. Results The systematic review revealed four domains of clinical practice where GPs experienced difficulties in multimorbidity. The qualitative interview study showed that GPs responded to these difficulties by ‘satisficing’. In multimorbid patients perceived as stable, GPs preferred to ‘maintain the status quo’ rather than actively change medications. In the cross-sectional study, the significant association between multimorbidity and negative psychosocial factors was shown. These findings informed the development of the ‘Multimorbidity Collaborative Medication Review and Decision-making’ (MY COMRADE) intervention. The intervention involves peer support: two GPs review the medications prescribed to a complex multimorbid patient together. In the feasibility study, GPs reported that the intervention was appropriate for the context of general practice; was widely applicable to their patients with multimorbidity; and recommendations for optimising medications arose from all collaborative reviews. Conclusion Applying theory to empirical data has led to an intervention that is implementable in clinical practice, and has the potential to positively change GPs’ behaviour in the management of medications for patients with multimorbidity.
Multimorbidity , General practice , Qualitative research , Medication management , Intervention development
Sinnott, C. 2016. Development of an intervention to support medication management in patients with multimorbidity in primary care. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.