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  • 1 January 2022 to 31 August 2022
  • Project No: 572
  • Funding round: FR3

Currently 23% of all adults and 54% of adults over 65 years old live with two or more long- term health conditions that have no cure, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is therefore important for studies to look at how people with two or more health conditions can live well with their conditions and manage their own care, including the symptoms and quality of life. Past research studies have done this by creating a programme that has lots of different components, which try to support people to change the things they do. These components may, for example, include encouraging increased exercise or healthier eating. However, when people have two or more health conditions it can be difficult to develop services to support people change what they do, as there are a range of symptoms, medications and healthcare professionals involved. Within current healthcare services there is often only time to discuss one condition, with GPs and hospital teams. This means the experience of having multiple health conditions can be missed and not discussed, so people use their own techniques, which may not be the best option.

The current project will review existing evidence across the world, to find and summarise the results of all studies that have tried to help people with two or more conditions change the things they do, to aid self-management of their conditions. We can then find out which components are most effective in encouraging behaviour change in this group of people and what leads to better quality of life or improvement in their condition.

To do this we will search through several online libraries for studies that use key words related to living with two or more health conditions, studies with aspects that try to change health behaviours (e.g., exercise, diet, or smoking) and that aim to improve outcomes which are important for people with multiple long-term conditions. We will combine all the results and two researchers will independently check these results to make sure no studies have been missed.

After finding all the relevant studies, we will collect information on details of the study, who took part and what they did. We will determine which components are used to help people change their health behaviours and if these components led to improvement in quality of life or reduce symptoms.

The findings will help us to know which components of these programmes are best for behaviour change, and which can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. This will help us to design better services to support programmes for people who live with two or more health conditions and reduce the pressure on the individual and NHS.

Two PPIE members with two or more health conditions have been recruited, to act as ‘critical friends’ to refine the aims, develop the plain language summary, act as co-applicants in the funding application process and will be involved in future activities. Future PPIE activities include agreeing what type of studies should be included, analysing, and providing feedback on findings, helping us to inform others about the findings and develop future research questions.

Findings will be shared in relevant journal articles, conferences, and a policy summary written. Results will be shared with the public through a public engagement workshop, and we will develop a range of resources in a variety of formats to share the results more widely, such as plain language summaries, social media posts, leaflets, and blogs.

Amount Awarded: £15,003

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.