Is client-centred care planning for chronic disease sustainable? Experience from rural South Australia

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This qualitative evaluation of a chronic disease self-management project in rural South Australia considers the sustainability of client-centred care planning under current organisational and funding arrangements. The study involved consultation with a range of five stakeholder types over two stages (40 in the beginning stage and 39 in the middle stage) about their satisfaction with the care planning and self-management approach used in the project. All stakeholder types valued the client-centred approach because they perceived that clients were better able to accept and deal with the long-term management of their condition. However, this required that care planning should deal with a wider range of issues than just medical management, and so it took longer, which raised its sustainability in general practice under the current funding through the national health insurance programme (Medicare). The study concludes that sustainability may be addressed through further research into the role of and funding for peer-led self-management groups and the employment of care planners in organisational settings that are conducive to a client-centred approach.

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