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Management of chronic diseases has been a recent focus of health care because of its effect on quality of life, health care use, and cost (Holman & Lorig, 2000). However, most of the interventions geared toward chronic disease management have been disease specific and do not address the issue of comorbidity, defined as an "additional disease beyond the condition under study that increases a patient's total burden of illness" (Klabunde, Warren, & Legler, 2002, p. 26). Previous studies of older adults have demonstrated the importance of comorbidity in affecting the number and type of health care services sought (Westert, Satariano, Schellevis, & van den Bos, 2001), functional abilities (Dunlopp, Manheim, Sohn, Liu, & Chang, 2002), and general health (Wensing, Vingerhoests, & Grol, 2001). In a review of current management strategies for chronic diseases, Davis, Wagner, and Groves (2002) stated that people with chronic comorbid diseases have common concerns and face similar challenges, such as coping with anger and dealing with role function changes, that are not often addressed in disease-specific self-management programs (Lorig et al., 1996). Disease-management vendors, such as case managers, who provide services specific to a disease or syndrome, are now finding it necessary to merge with other companies to provide comprehensive "all-disease" management to patients with multiple chronic comorbid conditions (Carroll, 2002). The problem of comorbidity is well represented in the elderly veteran population. Given its rapid growth, an important goal for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to develop effective interventions to help elderly veterans better cope with their chronic comorbid conditions. This article describes a clinical demonstration project, the Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) in the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, implemented by its Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) outpatient clinic staff that aimed to serve this need.

GENRE
Health, Mind & Body
RELEASED
2007
August 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
13
Pages
PUBLISHER
National Association of Social Workers
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
196.9
KB

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