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Care planning in the treatment of long term conditions

Lead: Peter Bower
University of Manchester

The main aim of care plans is to provide personalised care for patients with long-term conditions. By making care more responsive to the needs and preferences of patients, it is expected that this will improve patient experience, reduce inequalities in care provision, improve outcomes of care, and reduce inefficient care use. Care plans are also expected to have significant benefits for staff (in terms of helping them achieve co-ordinated and patient-centred care) and commissioners (by identifying needs and preferences at an individual level that can be used to support macro-level commissioning).

The overarching aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of care planning in the NHS. The research questions to be answered by the project are clustered around three themes:

(a) The definition of care planning

(i)  What are the key ingredients of care plans, and of the care planning process?
(ii) What are the potential mechanisms by which care planning works?
(iii) What are the contextual factors influencing the adoption of care planning?
(iv) What are the expected outcomes of care planning?

(b) The process of care planning

(i)  How is care planning undertaken in current practice?
(ii) How is care planning experienced by patients and professionals ?
(iii) How is the care planning process integrated into routine care delivery?
(iv) How is care planning translated into the everyday lives of patients?

(c) The outcomes of care planning

(i)What are the advantages and disadvantages of care planning?
(ii) How do the benefits vary in different disorders, and in the context of co-morbidity?
(iii) How do the benefits vary in different socio-demographic groups?
(iv) How do the benefits vary in different health and social care contexts?

This study will include reviews of the literature; analysis of data on care plans from the General Practice Patient Survey; interviews with patients and professionals about their experiences of care planning; and a cohort study of patients with long-term conditions to examine outcomes of care planning.

Last updated: 13 August 2013
Design: C Rivett-Carnac
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