Care Coordination for the Chronically Ill: Understanding the Patient's Perspective


Address correspondence to Daniel D. Maeng, Ph.D., Geisinger Center for Health Research, 100 N. Academy Ave. M.C. 44-00 Danville, PA 17822, e-mail:



To identify factors associated with perception of care coordination problems among chronically ill patients.


Patient-level data were obtained from a random-digit dial telephone survey of adults with chronic conditions. The survey measured respondents' self-report of care coordination problems and level of patient activation, using the Patient Activation Measure (PAM-13). Logistic regression was used to assess association between respondents' self-report of care coordination problems and a set of patient characteristics.


Respondents in the highest activation stage had roughly 30–40 percent lower odds of reporting care coordination problems compared to those in the lowest stage (< .01). Respondents with multiple chronic conditions were significantly more likely to report coordination problems than those with hypertension only. Respondents' race/ethnicity, employment, insurance status, income, and length of illness were not significantly associated with self-reported care coordination problems.


We conclude that patient activation and complexity of chronic illness are strongly associated with patients' self-report of care coordination problems. Developing targeted strategies to improve care coordination around these patient characteristics may be an effective way to address the issue.