Multidisciplinary care plans for diabetes: how are they used?

Shortus, Timothy D., McKenzie, Suzanne H., Kemp, Lynn A., Proudfoot, Judith G., and Harris, Mark F. (2007) Multidisciplinary care plans for diabetes: how are they used? Medical Journal of Australia, 187 (2). pp. 78-81.

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Objective: To understand how multidisciplinary care plans are being used in the management of patients with diabetes, and to explore the role of collaboration in care planning.

Design: Grounded theory interview study.

Setting: Primary care, June 2005 to October 2006.

Participants: Thirty-eight people from three New South Wales Divisions of General Practice: 19 general practitioners, eight diabetes-related allied health providers, two endocrinologists, and nine adults with type 2 diabetes. Sampling was purposeful then theoretical.

Results: GPs use care plans to organise clinical care and help patients access allied health providers. Written plans are used to educate patients about their care and to motivate change. GPs rarely discuss care plans with other providers, and providers are unlikely to change their approach to patients on the basis of care plans. Patients do not expect to participate in care planning.

Conclusions: Care planning may increase evidence-based multidisciplinary care for patients with diabetes, but it rarely results in genuine collaboration between providers and patients. This suggests a difference may exist between Australian policymakers’ and providers’ definitions of patients with complex needs. Care plans could facilitate patient self-management by including more personalised information. Further research is needed to clarify which patients would benefit from a truly collaborative approach to their care.

Item ID: 18228
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Funders: UNSW Faculty Research Grant, Timothy Shortus was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Public Health Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2011 05:39
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920104 Diabetes @ 100%
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