The ideal healthcare: priorities of people with chronic conditions and their carers

Sav, Adem, Mcmillan, Sara S., Kelly, Fiona, King, Michelle A., Whitty, Jennifer A. ORCID:, Kendall, Elizabeth and Wheeler, Amanda J. (2015) The ideal healthcare: priorities of people with chronic conditions and their carers. BMC Health Services Research, 15. ISSN 1472-6963

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Background It is well established that health consumer opinions should be considered in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health services. However, the opinions of people with chronic conditions and their carers and what they actually consider as ideal healthcare is limited. The aim of this study is to investigate the healthcare priorities of consumers with chronic conditions and their carers, if there are differences between these two groups, and if priorities differ depending on geographical location. Methods The nominal group technique was used as a method to identify what is currently important to, or valued by, participants. This method was also particularly suited to learning about healthcare problems and generating important solutions, thereby helping to bridge the gap between research and policy. Recruitment was carried out via purposive sampling, with the assistance of community pharmacies, general practices, various health agencies, government and non-government organisations. A total of 11 nominal groups were conducted; five groups consisted predominantly of consumers (n = 33 participants), two groups consisted predominantly of carers (n = 12 participants) and four were mixed groups, i.e. consumers, carers, and both (n = 26 participants). Results The findings suggested that to create a model of ideal healthcare for people with chronic conditions and their carers, appropriate and timely healthcare access was of paramount importance. Continuity and coordinated care, patient-centred care and affordability were equally the second most important healthcare priorities for all groups. When compared with other groups, access was discussed more frequently among participants residing in the rural area of Mount Isa. Compared to consumers, carers also discussed priorities that were more reminiscent with their caring roles, such as increased access and continuity and coordinated care. Conclusions Access to healthcare is the most important priority for people with chronic conditions and their carers. In the event of inappropriate access for certain groups, all other efforts to increase the quality of healthcare delivery, e.g. patient-centred care, may be pointless. However, health professionals alone may be limited in their ability to address the concerns related to healthcare access; structural changes by health policy makers may be needed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic disease,unpaid carer,nominal group technique,healthcare quality,australia,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 10:00
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 01:03
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-015-1215-3

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