How unique is continuity of care? A review of continuity and related concepts

Authors, Primary Uijen,Annemarie A.;Schers,Henk J.;Schellevis,Francois G.;van den Bosch,Wil,J.H.M.
Title Primary How unique is continuity of care? A review of continuity and related concepts
Periodical Full Family practice
Pub Year 2012
Volume 29
issue 3
Start Page 264-271
Abstract Background. The concept of 'continuity of care' has changed over time and seems to be entangled with other care concepts, for example coordination and integration of care. These concepts may overlap, and differences between them often remain unclear. Objective. In order to clarify the confusion of tongues and to identify core values of these patient-centred concepts, we provide a historical overview of continuity of care and four related concepts: coordination of care, integration of care, patient-centred care and case management. Methods. We identified and reviewed articles including a definition of one of these concepts by performing an extensive literature search in PubMed. In addition, we checked the definition of these concepts in the Oxford English Dictionary. Results. Definitions of continuity, coordination, integration, patient-centred care and case management vary over time. These concepts show both great entanglement and also demonstrate differences. Three major common themes could be identified within these concepts: personal relationship between patient and care provider, communication between providers and cooperation between providers. Most definitions of the concepts are formulated from the patient's perspective. Conclusions. The identified themes appear to be core elements of care to patients. Thus, it may be valuable to develop an instrument to measure these three common themes universally. In the patient-centred medical home, such an instrument might turn out to be an important quality measure, which will enable researchers and policy makers to compare care settings and practices and to evaluate new care interventions from the patient perspective.
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PubMed Link
Reference Type(s) Journal Article
Topic Tag(s) Comprehensive Care;Patient-Centered Care;Care Coordination;Defining/Evaluating/Qualifying a Medical Home
Special Population(s) Not Available
Case Study No
Commentary/Opinion Piece No
Historical Publication No
Key/Foundational Article No
Literature Review Yes
Article Rating No
Summary of Article Rating No