Taking a holistic approach to long-term condition management

Long-term conditions, from cardiovascular diseases to diabetes, pose a significant burden to those affected, as well as a complex challenge for global health systems.

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Long-term conditions, also known as chronic diseases, are characterised by their persistent nature and often require ongoing management and treatment. These conditions can impact people of all ages and are responsible for a considerable portion of the global disease burden. According to the World Healthcare Organisation, chronic diseases are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, contributing to approximately 74% of deaths.

The prevalence of long-term conditions is on the rise, driven by ageing populations, changing lifestyles and increasing incidence of risk factors like obesity. As a result, healthcare systems globally are under pressure to provide effective and sustainable care for those living with these conditions.

Multimorbidity, to coexistence of two or more chronic conditions in one individual, adds further complexity to healthcare management. As life expectancy rises, so too does the likelihood of developing multiple chronic conditions, further complicating treatment strategies and care pathway.

In addressing the challenges posed by long-term conditions and multimorbidity, a holistic approach to care delivery is essential. This approach must focus on meeting the comprehensive needs of the patient, encompassing physical, psychological, social and environmental dimensions of health.

Empowering patients to actively participate in their care is paramount to achieving optimal health outcomes. Patient education, self-management strategies, shared decision making, and access to digital support play crucial roles in promoting patient engagement and autonomy in managing their long-term conditions.

By understanding the global burden of chronic diseases, recognising the complexities of multimorbidity and embracing a patient-centred model of care, we can strive towards improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with these conditions.