Guideline deviation and its association with specific chronic diseases among patients with multimorbidity: A cross-sectional cohort study in a care management setting

Chandra J. Cohen-Stavi, Shmuel Giveon, Calanit Key, Tchiya Molcho, Ran Balicer, Efrat Shadmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To assess whether the extent of deviation from chronic disease guideline recommendations is more prominent for specific diseases compared with combined-care across multiple conditions among multimorbid patients, and to examine reasons for this deviation. Design A cross-sectional cohort. Setting Multimorbidity care management programme across 11 primary care clinics. Patients Patients aged 45-95 years with at least two common chronic conditions, sampled according to being new (≤6 months) or veteran (≥1 year) to the programme. Main outcome measures Deviation from guideline-recommended care was measured for each patient's relevant conditions, aggregated and stratified across disease groups, calculated as measures of â € disease-specific' guideline deviation and â € combined-care' (all conditions) guideline deviation for: atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, depression, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and ischaemic heart disease. Combined-care deviation was evaluated for its association with specific diseases. Frequencies of previously derived reason types for deviation (biomedical, patient personal and contextual) were reported by nurse care managers, assessed across diseases and evaluated for their association with specific diseases. Results Among 204 patients, disease-specific deviation varied more (from 14.7% to 48.2%) across diseases than combined-care deviation (from 14.7% to 25.6%). Depression and diabetes were significantly associated with more deviation (mean: 6% (95% CI: 2% to 10%) and 5% (95% CI: 2% to 9%), respectively). For some conditions, assessments were among small patient samples. Guideline deviation was often attributed to non-disease-specific reasons, such as physical limitations or care burden, as much as disease-specific reasons, which was reflected in the likelihood for guideline deviation to be due to different types of reasons for some diseases. Conclusions When multimorbid patients are considered in disease groups rather than as â € whole persons', as in many quality of care studies, the cross-cutting factors in their care delivery can be missed. The types of reasons more likely to occur for specific diseases may inform improvement strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere040961
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


  • health policy
  • primary care
  • quality in health care
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Multimorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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