Exploring patient, informal carer and care professional perspectives to understand the key clinical and non-clinical care needs of those living with multiple long-term conditions (MLTC)
Simpson G., Okamoto I., Morrison L., Santer M., Farmer A., Dambha-Miller H.
BACKGROUND: Multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) are the co-occurrence of two or more chronic long-term conditions. While numerous studies have examined health and social care needs associated with MLTC, there has been limited research exploring both clinical and non-clinical care needs of this patient cohort from a range of perspectives. AIM: To explore patient, informal carer, and care professional perspectives to identify what are the key clinical and non-clinical needs for optimal care in people with MLTC. METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 29 patients, informal carers, and professionals, using video-link or telephone. Inductive reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data. RESULTS: A range of clinical and non-clinical care needs were identified, including supporting patient self-management of conditions, informal carer involvement in care decisions, limited knowledge of MLTC among care professionals, and mental health and socioeconomic needs of individuals were emphasised as important to optimal care in MLTC.Improvements to optimise care included: more personalised care interventions, improved care professional understanding of MLTC care needs, involvement of informal carers in care decisions and promoting patient self-management of conditions and increased consideration given to non-clinical care needs. CONCLUSION: MLTC patients often have a complex range of clinical and non-clinical care needs. This requires a holistic and coordinated care approach, enabling care to be tailored to personal care needs of individuals with MLTC.