Integrated multidisciplinary care for the management of chronic conditions in adults: an overview of reviews and an example of using indirect evidence to inform clinical practice recommendations in the field of rare diseases

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Integrated care models have been adopted for individuals with chronic conditions and for persons with rare diseases, such as haemophilia.


To summarize the evidence from reviews for the effects of integrated multidisciplinary care for chronic conditions in adults and to provide an example of using this evidence to make recommendations for haemophilia care.

Search methods:

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews up to January 2016, and reviewed reference lists of retrieved papers.

Selection criteria:

Systematic reviews of at least one randomized study, on adults with non-communicable chronic conditions.

Data collection and analysis:

Two investigators independently assessed eligibility and extracted data. Quality of reviews was assessed using ROBIS, and the evidence assessed using GRADE.


We included seven reviews reporting on three chronic conditions. We found low to high quality evidence. Integrated care results in a reduction in mortality; likely a reduction in emergency visits and an improvement in function; little to no difference in quality of life, but shorter hospital stays; and may result in little to no difference in missed days of school or work. No studies reported educational attainment, or patient adherence and knowledge. When used for haemophilia, judgment about the indirectness of the evidence was driven by disease, intervention or outcome characteristics.


This overview provides the most up to date evidence on integrated multidisciplinary care for chronic conditions in adults, and an example of how it can be used for guidelines in rare diseases.

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