Association between Continuity of Care and Health-Related Quality of Life

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Abstract

Background::

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are considered potential quality metrics for patients with multiple chronic medical conditions (MCC). Although continuity of care (COC) is an essential MCC care process, the association between common PROs and COC is unknown.

Methods::

We assessed baseline and two-year follow-up self-reported health status, physical, and emotional well-being, and COC in seniors with MCC. Using mixed effects models with repeated measures adjusting for age, gender, and morbidity, we assessed each outcome as a function of COC.

Results::

Of 2,078 seniors, 961 completed the initial survey and 806 completed follow-up. On a 0–100 scale, mean (sd) baseline self-reported health status, physical well-being, and emotional well-being were 48.7 (22.0), 36.4 (11.4), and 54.8 (9.0). On a 0 to 1 scale, mean baseline and 2-year COC were 0.24 (sd 0.22) and 0.22 (0.18). Follow-up self-reported health status, physical well-being, and emotional well-being were 48.8 (23.1), 36.5 (11.5), and 55.3 (8.8). In adjusted primary and secondary analyses using all available data, there were no associations between any outcomes and COC.

Conclusion::

Given the measurement burden of quality assessment, negative associations between potential quality metrics and care processes are informative. Systematic assessment of PROs can inform patient-centered MCC care. However, PRO scores should be used with caution as quality measures.

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