UK Center for Health Services Research Collaborates to Study Chronic Conditions

Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC) affects one in four Americans overall and about three in four Americans age 65 and older. While health care aims to relieve suffering and alleviate burden, it sometimes makes burdensome demands of patients. Patients must invest capacity — time, emotion, and attention — to do the work of being a patient, which competes with other important tasks in their lives.

For patients with MCC, a shift in practice is required: one that focuses on each patient’s health situation and on the limited capacity patients have to advance their health situation, while still pursuing joyful lives.

The University of Kentucky Center for Health Services Research strives for interdisciplinary collaborations locally and nationally, and has established relationships with institutes such as Mayo Clinic and Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA). In collaboration with KPCA, Kentucky is one of the fours sites in the nation that will assess and characterize the ways in which ICAN-supported primary care is feasible and improves patient and health care teams’ experience of care and communication, while reducing patients’ burden of treatment.

The ICAN Discussion Aid, developed by the research team at the Mayo Clinic’s Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, is an intervention to support this different practice. ICAN helps to explicitly consider the relationship between the patient’s life circumstances, health care goals, the work patients are asked to do and their capacity to enact it. Informed with evidence about the patient’s life, health care teams are better able to co-create treatment plans that are considerate of each patient.

This innovative intervention is an application of Minimally Disruptive Medicine, declared by the British Medical Journal as one of the most important new ideas in medicine in the last 20 years. The My Life, My Healthcare study is funded by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, and will use a mixed methods, cluster-randomized trial design to test ICAN’s feasibility and efficacy on a much larger scale.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history.To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue 

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia McCoy, olivia.mccoy1@uky.edu, (859) 257-1076