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

"Research on Multimorbidity in Primary Care"

Dear colleagues and researchers,

Multimorbidity is understood as coexistence of multiple health conditions in an individual. The number of people suffering from multimorbidity is rising driven by aging populations, but also by growing burden of non-communicable diseases and mental health problems. Multimorbidity is highly heterogenous varying from multiple conditions in frail elderly to combinations of mental health disorders and substance use.  Depending on definition it is estimated that every fourth adult and two in three of patients over 65 years of age are multimorbid.  In primary care these estimates are even higher and multimorbidity is a norm among elderly adults.

Multimorbidity is associated with reduced quality of life, impaired functional status, worsened physical and mental health, increased mortality and increased use of health and social care services with associated costs.

There is a broad international consensus that the patient-centered comprehensive approach with continuity is the key element in the care of multimorbid patients. However, there are only few randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of care model for multimorbid patients. In the largest recently published multisite cluster-randomised 3D trial, intervention, including all the essential elements of optimal care, had no effect on quality of care or various elements of illness and treatment burden, but it significantly improved patient-centred care (1).

In 2017 over 500 studies were published on multimorbidity based on Pubmed search. However, we don’t know yet which multimorbidity clusters cause the greatest burden and what are the determinants of these clusters? No long-term cohort studies regarding multimorbid patients have been published.

NICE guideline on Multimorbidity was published in 2016 (2). Chair of the guideline’s development group, professor Bruce Guthrie from Dundee, UK will be the keynote speaker on Friday at EGPRN in Tampere.  At the Tampere meeting, in addition to the keynote, we will have a chance to hear the latest research on multimorbidity in theme papers. Moreover, among others we will have a pre-congress-workshop regarding the congress theme. The Finnish national GP congress will be combined with EGPRN, and the Finnish participants will have a special opportunity to experience the EGPRN spirit in Tampere together with the national meeting.

On behalf of the Finnish Association for General Practice, Tampere University and the local organizing committee it is our great pleasure to welcome you to the 88th EGRPN meeting at Tampere in the beginning of May. We hope you enjoy the congress, northern daylight abundance and your stay in Tampere, Finland.

(1) Salisbury C et al. Management of multimorbidity using a patient-centred care model: a pragmatic cluster-randomised trial of the 3D approach. Lancet 2018; 392: 41–50
(2) Multimorbidity: clinical assessment and management (NICE guideline)

Host Organising Committee