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Chronic Illness, Comorbidity, and Primary Care Quality

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 15/02/2012 12:10

This paper provides the basis for rethinking the concept of “chronicity” as represented by conventional, biomedically oriented “chronic diseases” by showing how a wide range of semi-acute and acute conditions often act as if they were chronic, recurring or reappearing with periodicity in many people. Moreover, people with any given illness are more likely than people without the illness to have other unrelated illnesses, i.e., multimorbidity (more commonly referred to as “comorbidity”)

Starfield B. Chronic Illness, Comorbidity, and Primary Care Quality. In: Rosen B, Saltman R, Shani M. Health Systems: Are we in post Reform Era? Jerusalem: Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research, 2006, pp.81-84.



“Chronic disease” is the widely accepted major epidemic of the 21st century. Generally focused on biomedical entities such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, asthma, obesity, and hypertension, the concept of the “chronic disease” is turning health services away from a focus on meeting people’s needs for care of acute health problems (which still constitutes the major reason for visits to physicians everywhere) and towards a diseaseby- disease focus in patient care.

Starfield B

Norte América
Integrated care