Chronic conditions are long lasting with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on a person’s quality of life, place a significant burden on individual people and carers, and the healthcare system. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common and a priority for action in the primary health sector.

WAPHA is working in partnership with Curtin University to lead a unique piece of qualitative research into the management of chronic conditions in primary care. Stage one was conducted by peer to peer interviews between general practitioners and practice teams. Stage two took a consumer perspective through focus groups facilitated by Health Consumers Council WA. We are now entering stage three to investigate chronic condition management from an allied health perspective. (Ethics approval number: RDHS-46-16)

Part 1 : General Practice 

A collaboration between WAPHA, Curtin University, WA General Practice Education and Training and Royal Australian College of General Practice, Part 1 of the Inquiry explored the experience of practice staff with the management of chronic conditions in general practice. Selected metropolitan and country general practices provided their perspectives on current management practices for patients with chronic and complex conditions (specifically the tri-morbid patient cohort), perceived barriers to providing optimal care, and any “work arounds” being employed to address these barriers, and system changes needed in primary health care to better manage the care of this patient cohort.

Part 2 : Health Consumers

WAPHA, Curtin University and the Health Consumers Council (HCC) commenced the second part of the Naïve Inquiry in 2017, focusing on the experiences and views of health consumers with multiple chronic health conditions residing in the Perth metropolitan area and two regional areas. Six focus groups were conducted, with 46 participants sharing their perspectives with the researchers and each other.

The themes and summary report of the research were presented at an open forum on Friday 1 December 2017 – Chronic Health Condition Management in Primary Care: GP and consumer perspectives.

Part 3: Allied Health

WAPHA and Curtin University are engaging with Allied Health practitioners in Part 3 of this study. Structured interviews with practitioners in the fields of Pharmacy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Exercise Physiology and Nurse Practitioners will be conducted by Professor Suzanne Robinson PhD, Theme Leader for Health Systems and Health Economics at the School of Public Health, Curtin University during April and May 2018. The research findings will be presented by mid 2018.

 

The methodology and the findings have both gained significant interest nationally and internationally. Professor Robinson has presented papers at a number of conferences, including:

National and international conference presentations

  1. Robinson, S., Kane, C., Bell, J., Brennan, P., Bullow, K., Harwood, J.,Engaging clinicians and patients in the development of patient centred medical home models in Western Australia: findings from a naïve inquiry Health Services Research Australian and New Zealand (HSRAANZ), Gold Coast 2017 (audience, Policy Makers, Health Care professionals, Clinicians and Researchers)
  2. Robinson, S., Kane, C., Bell, J., Harwood, J.Patient centred medical home models: using a naïve inquiry approach to explore current and future primary care models in Australia  Primary Health Care Research Conference 2017  (audience, Policy Makers, Health Care professionals, Clinicians and Researchers)
  3. Robinson, S., Kane, C., Bell, J., Harwood, J.Patient Centered Medical Home a pilot study  Primary Health Care Research Conference, 2016 (audience, Policy Makers, Health Care professionals, Clinicians and Researchers)
  4. Robinson, S., Kane, C., Bell, J., Brennan, P., Bullow, K., Harwood, J., Developing comprehensive primary care models: the consumer perspective. 4th International Health Care Reform Conference Sydney 2018 (audience, Policy Makers, Health Care professionals, Clinicians and Researchers)