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Developing and validating disease management evaluation methods for European health care systems (DISMEVAL)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Dec 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Chronic health conditions that impose a heavy burden on society and account for a large share of health care costs. Better prevention and management could potentially decrease costs and improve quality of care and health outcomes. An important means of accomplishing these goals is through the use of disease management (DM) interventions that educate patients about prevention and health management strategies, while also providing guidance, behavioral modification techniques, and social and emotional support. DM also seeks to assist providers by informing them about best practices and treatment opportunities. The underlying assumption is that DM leads to better quality of care, more health-conscious behavior, and improved disease prevention and control. In the short run, disease management would decrease costs by optimizing utilization of medical care. In the long run, DM lead to improved health status among patients with chronic conditions, thereby avoiding medical expenditures and improving workplace productivity. Many health care systems in Europe and elsewhere are beginning to embrace DM programmes. Although the concept of disease management offers great promise, these programs’ ability to reduce cost and improve care has not yet been empirically demonstrated; more and more policymakers are demanding objective assessments of a programme’s impact. Part of the problem is that there are no universally accepted evaluation methods to measure and report programme performance in a scientifically sound fashion that is also practicable for routine operations. This project seeks to bridge this gap. It will provide an overview of approaches to chronic care and DM methods across Europe and test and validate possible evaluation approaches. These include non-experimental and experimental evaluation designs and performance measures. Best practices will be identified and used to develop recommendations for policymakers, program operators and researchers.
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