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Keywords:

  • Chronic disease;
  • coordinated care;
  • care plan;
  • self-management;
  • health outcomes

SA HealthPlus, one of nine national Australian coordinated care trials, addressed chronic illness care by testing whether coordinated care would improve health outcomes at the cost of usual care. SA HealthPlus compared a generic model of coordinated care for 3,115 intervention patients with the usual care for 1,488 controls. Service coordinators and the behavioral and care-planning approach were new. The health status (SF-36) in six of eight projects improved, and those patients who had been hospitalized in the year immediately preceding the trial were the most likely to save on costs. A mid-trial review found that health benefits from coordinated care depended more on patients' self-management than the severity of their illness, a factor leading to the Flinders Model of Self-Management Support.