Multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity): making sense of the evidence

Posted 2021.04.07

Addressing the population and service challenges presented by multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) is a local and national priority and a major strategic priority for the NIHR. It was highlighted in the Government’s Health and Care White Paper (2021). 

The ambition for more integrated care, set out in the White Paper, has been central to strategies to address the challenges presented by multiple conditions. Yet as research has and is uncovering, this is far from sufficient to address the complex issues raised by the rising number of people with multiple conditions. This briefing aims to unpack the issues for those wrestling with them locally and nationally.

It explores the impact of multiple conditions both on people’s lives and on the healthcare service. It looks at the dynamic interaction between different conditions – physical and mental – and between risk factors such as people’s behaviour, and socioeconomic status. These interactions are not fully understood but they may hold the key to understanding common clusters of conditions. Clusters, in turn, offer insights into the underlying disease pathways; improved understanding will drive the development of new treatments but could also lead to new priorities in public health and healthcare services. 


You can access the full collection of evidence here: