Primary Care Physicians’ Prevention Counseling With Patients With Multiple Morbidity

Shoshana H. Bardach, Nancy E. Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The prevalence of multiple health conditions, or multiple morbidity (MM), is increasing. Providing medical care for adults with MM presents challenges, including balancing disease management with prevention. We conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with 12 primary care physicians to explore their perspectives on prevention counseling among patients with MM. Participants described the complex relationship between disease management and prevention, highlighted the importance of patient motivation, and discussed various strategies to promote receptivity to prevention recommendations. The perceived potential benefits of prevention recommendations encouraged physicians to persist with such counseling, despite challenges presented by visit time constraints, reimbursement procedures, and concerns over futility. Physicians recommended the development of alternate care delivery and reimbursement models to overcome challenges of the existing health care system and to meet the prevention needs of patients with MM. We explore the implications of these findings for maximizing the health and quality of life of adults with MM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1611
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute R21 CA129881 (PI: Schoenberg). This research was also supported by grant number TL1 RR033172 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), which is funded by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is supported by the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research (Awardee: Bardach).The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR and NIH.


  • health care, primary
  • illness and disease, chronic
  • illness and disease, prevention
  • interviews, semistructured
  • research, qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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