Thursday, 3 June 2010

Tackling chronic disease in Europe. Strategies, interventions and challenges

Chronic conditions and diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Europe, accounting for 86% of total premature deaths, and research suggests that complex conditions such as diabetes and depression will impose an even greater health burden in the future ... not only for the rich and elderly in high-income countries, but increasingly for the poor as well as low and middle-income countries. Epidemiologic and economic analyses suggest that policy-makers should make chronic disease a priority.

Tackling chronic disease in Europe. Strategies, interventions and challenges highlights the issues and focuses on the strategies and interventions that policy-makers have at their disposal to tackle this increasing challenge.

Strategies discussed include (1)prevention and early detection, (2)new provider qualifications(e.g. nurse practitioners) and settings,(3) disease management programmes and (4)integrated care models. But choosing the right strategies will be difficult, particularly given the limited evidence on effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

The book also outlines and discusses institutional and organizational challenges for policy-makers and managers: (1) stimulating the development of new effective pharmaceuticals and medical devices, (2) designing appropriate financial incentives, (3) improving coordination, (4) using information and communication technology, and (5)ensuring evaluation. To tackle these challenges successfully, key policy recommendations are made.

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