Priorities of patients with multimorbidity and of clinicians regarding treatment and health outcomes: a systematic mixed studies review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Harini Sathanapally
  • Radia Fahami
  • Clare Gillies
  • Umesh Kadam
  • Melanie Davies
  • Kamlesh Khunti
  • Samuel Seidu

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Leicester Diabetes Centre University Hospitals Leicester Leicester


To identify studies that have investigated the health outcome and treatment priorities of patients with multimorbidity, clinicians or both, in order to assess whether the priorities of the two groups are in alignment, or whether a disparity exists between the priorities of patients with multimorbidity and clinicians.

Systematic review.

Data sources
MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINHAL and Cochrane databases from inception to May 2019 using a predefined search strategy, as well as reference lists containing any relevant articles, as per Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and Cochrane guidelines.

Eligibility criteria
We included studies reporting health outcome and treatment priorities of adult patients with multimorbidity, defined as suffering from two or more chronic conditions, or of clinicians in the context of multimorbidity or both. There was no restriction by study design, and studies using quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies were included.

Data synthesis
We used a narrative synthesis approach to synthesise the quantitative findings, and a meta-ethnography approach to synthesise the qualitative findings.

Our search identified 24 studies for inclusion, which comprised 12 quantitative studies, 10 qualitative studies and 2 mixed-methods studies. Twelve studies reported the priorities of both patients and clinicians, 10 studies reported the priorities of patients and 2 studies reported the priorities of clinicians alone. Our findings have shown a mostly low level of agreement between the priorities of patients with multimorbidity and clinicians. We found that prioritisation by patients was mainly driven by their illness experiences, while clinicians focused on longer-term risks. Preserving functional ability emerged as a key priority for patients from across our quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Recognising that there may be a disparity in prioritisation and understanding the reasons for why this might occur, can facilitate clinicians in accurately eliciting the priorities that are most important to their patients and delivering patient-centred care.

PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018076076.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033445
JournalBMJ open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020