88th EGPRN Meeting, Tampere-Finland, 9-12 May 2019

International Keynote Speaker

Bruce Guthrie

Professor of General Practice at the University of Edinburgh
NHS Research Scotland Primary Care Research Champion

The challenge of multimorbidity for health services and researchers

Multimorbidity challenges existing healthcare organisation and research which remains disease and single-condition focused. Basic science approaches to multimorbidity have the potential to identify important shared mechanisms by which diseases we currently think of as distinct might arise, but there is a pressing need for more applied and health services research to better understand and manage multimorbidity now. There are a number of recent clinical guidelines which make recommendations for managing multimorbidity, but the evidence base underpinning these recommendations is often weak, and these guidelines therefore also help define a research agenda. This presentation will identify important gaps in the evidence, and illustrate how they might be filled focusing on organisational interventions to implement more coordinated and holistic care, and on interventions to improve medicines management in people with multimorbidity and polypharmacy.


Bruce Guthrie is Professor of General Practice at the University of Edinburgh, where he conducts applied research to translate basic and clinical research into effective and reliable clinical practice. He was previously Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the University of Dundee, and before that a Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on healthcare quality and safety, particularly for people with multimorbidity and polypharmacy, and particularly in relation to prescribing. His research spans the range from basic epidemiology, through the development and evaluation of complex interventions, to applied work with the National Health Service to improvecare and to evaluate NHS improvement work. As well as conducting research, he continues to practice clinically, and is a member of a number of NHS advisory bodies, including being a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences Multimorbidity working group and chairing the guideline development group for the NICE guideline “Multimorbidity: Clinical Assessment and Management”.