Health-related preferences of older patients with multimorbidity: the protocol for an evidence map

Ana Isabel González-González, Christine Schmucker, Jeanet Blom, Marjan van den Akker, Truc Sophia Nguyen, Julia Nothacker, Joerg J Meerpohl, Kristian Röttger, Odette Wegwarth, Tammy Hoffmann, Sharon E Straus, Ferdinand M Gerlach, Christiane Muth

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INTRODUCTION: Interaction of conditions and treatments, complicated care needs and substantial treatment burden make patient-physician encounters involving multimorbid older patients highly complex. To optimally integrate patients' preferences, define and prioritise realistic treatment goals and individualise care, a patient-centred approach is recommended. However, the preferences of older patients, who are especially vulnerable and frequently multimorbid, have not been systematically investigated with regard to their health status. The purpose of this evidence map is to explore current research addressing health-related preferences of older patients with multimorbidity, and to identify the knowledge clusters and research gaps.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: To identify relevant research, we will conduct searches in the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX, CINAHL, Social Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index Expanded and the Cochrane library from their inception. We will check reference lists of relevant articles and carry out cited reference research (forward citation tracking). Two independent reviewers will screen titles and abstracts, check full texts for eligibility and extract the data. Any disagreement will be resolved and consensus reached with the help of a third reviewer. We will include both qualitative and quantitative studies, and address preferences from the patients' perspectives in a multimorbid population of 60 years or older. There will be no restrictions on the publication language. Data extraction tables will present study and patient characteristics, aim of study, methods used to identify preferences and outcomes (ie, type of preferences). We will summarise the data using tables and figures (ie, bubble plot) to present the research landscape and to describe clusters and gaps.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Due to the nature of the proposed evidence map, ethics approval will not be required. Results from our research will be disseminated by means of specifically prepared materials for patients, at relevant (inter)national conferences and via publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29724
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019


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