Abstract

Purpose: To measure patients' assessment of chronic illness care and its variation across primary healthcare (PHC) models.

Methods: We recruited 776 patients with diabetes, heart failure, arthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from 33 PHC clinics. Face-to-face interviews, followed by a telephone interview at 12 months, were conducted using the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC). Multilevel regression was used in the analysis.

Results: The mean PACIC score was low at 2.5 on a scale of 1 to 5. PACIC scores were highest among patients affiliated with family medicine groups (mean, 2.78) and lowest for contact models (mean, 2.35). Patients with arthritis and older persons generally reported a lower assessment of chronic care.

Conclusion: Family medicine groups represent an integrated model of PHC associated with higher levels of achievement in chronic care. Variations across PHC organizations suggest that some models are more appropriate for improving management of chronic illness.