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Keywords:

  • multiple chronic conditions;
  • quality indicators;
  • quality measurement;
  • functional status;
  • health-related quality of life

Objectives

To explore central challenges with translating self-reported measurement tools for functional status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) into ambulatory quality indicators for older people with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs).

Design

Review.

Setting

Sources including the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse and National Quality Forum were reviewed for existing ambulatory quality indicators relevant to functional status, HRQOL, and people with MCCs.

Participants

Seven informants with expertise in indicators using functional status and HRQOL.

Measurements

Informant interviews were conducted to explore knowledge about these types of indicators, particularly usability and feasibility.

Results

Nine important existing indicators were identified in the review. For process, identified indicators addressed whether providers assessed functional status; outcome indicators addressed quality of life. In interviews, informants agreed that indicators using self-reported data were important in this population. Challenges identified included concerns about usability due to inability to discriminate quality of care adequately between organizations and feasibility concerns regarding high data collection burden, with a correspondingly low response rate. Validity was also a concern because evidence is mixed that healthcare interventions can improve HRQOL or functional status for this population. As a possible first step, a structural standard could be systematic collection of these measures in a specific setting.

Conclusion

Although functional status and HRQOL are important outcomes for older people with MCCs, few relevant ambulatory quality indicators exist, and there are concerns with usability, feasibility, and validity. Further research is needed on how best to incorporate these outcomes into quality indicators for people with MCCs.