Health related quality of life in multimorbidity: a primary-care based study from Odisha, India.
Pati S., Swain S., Knottnerus JA., Metsemakers JFM., van den Akker M.
BACKGROUND: Multimorbidity, the coexistence of two or more chronic conditions is increasingly prevalent in primary care populations. Despite reports on its adverse impact on health outcomes, functioning and well-being, it's association with quality of life is not well known in low and middle income countries. We assessed the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of primary care patients with multimorbidity and identified the influencing factors. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was done across 20 public and 20 private primary care facilities in Odisha, India. Data were collected from 1649 adult out-patients using a structured multimorbidity assessment questionnaire for primary care (MAQ-PC). HRQoL was assessed by the 12-item short-form health survey (SF-12). Both physical (PCS) and mental components scores (MCS) were calculated. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the association of HRQoL with socio-demographics, number, severity and typology of chronic conditions. RESULTS: Around 28.3% [95% CI: 25.9-30.7] of patients had multimorbidity. Mean physical component scope (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of QoL in the study population was 43.56 [95% CI: 43.26-43.86] and 43.69 [95% CI: 43.22-44.16], respectively. Patients with multimorbidity reported poorer mean PCS [43.23, 95% CI: 42.62-43.84] and MCS [41.58, 95% CI: 40.74-42.43] compared to those without. After adjusting for other variables, morbidity severity burden score was found to be negatively associated with MCS [adjusted coefficient: -0.24, 95% CI - 0.41 to - 0.08], whereas no significant association was seen with PCS. Hypertension and diabetes with arthritis and acid peptic diseases were found to be negatively related with MCS. Within multimorbidity, lower education was inversely associated with mental QoL and positively associated with physical QoL score after adjusting for other variables. CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate the diverse negative effects of multimorbidity on HRQoL and reveal that apart from count of chronic conditions, severity and pattern also influence HRQoL negatively. Health care providers should consider severity as an outcome measure to improve QoL especially in individuals with physical multimorbidity. Given the differences observed between age groups, it is important to identify specific care needs for each group. Musculoskeletal clusters need prioritised attention while designing clinical guidelines for multimorbidity.