Understanding the Relationship between Multimorbidity in Later Life, Use of Health Services and Costs of Health Care
- Principal Investigator: Raphael Wittenberg
- 1 September 2018 to 31 October 2019
- Project No: 419
- Funding round: FR 16
The effective management of multimorbidity – generally defined as two or more health conditions - is a major challenge for the NHS. The number of people with multimorbidity is expected to rise as the population ages since multimorbidity rises with age. This means substantial implications for NHS resources.
The aim of the study is to understand how use of health services by middle-aged and older people (aged 50 and over) and associated costs of health care rise with each additional chronic health condition. This is intended to help the NHS to target resources toward those older patients who are most likely to have high use of services in future due to multimorbidity.
Our research questions include the following. How much do costs of health care among older people with multimorbidity vary with the number of health conditions. Does the increase in costs for each additional condition differ by age, gender, deprivation and whether the conditions include dementia or depression?
We will address these questions through analyses of a large data set, the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We will use our analyses to estimate expected lifetime costs of health care from age 50 upward. We will develop a user-friendly tool to help the NHS to understand how costs of health care for an individual may be expected to rise over time with additional health conditions.
The outputs of the study will be the tool with a user guide, a plain English summary of our findings and articles for professional and academic journals.
We will hold two meetings with representatives of patients: one early in the study to seek views on specific sub-questions to examine within our overall aims and one toward the end to seek comments on our findings, ways to share our results and ideas for further research.
Amount awarded: £153,759