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An integrated care pathway improves quality of life in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Jones, Jessie Pairman, Katharine Wilton, Emerita Professor Julia Newton


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Background: Clinical management of the chronic autoimmune liver disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) involves addressing the underlying liver disease and a range of symptoms independent of liver disease severity. We have formally explored how these two perspectives of chronic disease management can be combined into a clinic consultation and impact upon quality of life (QOL) in PBC. Aims: To develop and implement the first Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) for the management of liver disease progression and symptom management in PBC. Methods: Process mapping of current practice by a multidisciplinary group developed a flowchart of care from which the clinical record evolved. Symptom assessment is incorporated into the PBC ICP (QOL; PBC-40, autonomic symptoms; Orthostatic Grading Scale, daytime sleepiness; Epworth Sleepiness Scale). All patients were considered who attended clinic between July 2005 and June 2006. Symptom assessment was repeated after 1 year in those participating in the initial clinic cohort. Results: The PBC ICP was successfully introduced into our clinical environment with high levels of patient satisfaction. A total of 225 PBC patients attended over 12 months. Initial QOL assessments were in 195 (87%). Five patients died (3%). Repeat assessment 1 year later occurred in 149 subjects (149/190; 78%). All symptom domains improved after ICP implementation with significant improvements in those with moderate and severe symptoms in all PBC-40 symptom domains (P < 0.02). In those with severe fatigue (n = 38) symptom improvement was even more dramatic (P = 0.002). Conclusion: ICP implementation delivers evidence-based care, leads to improvements in QOL coupled with high levels of patient satisfaction. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Physicians. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones DEJ, Sutcliffe K, Pairman JE, Wilton KJA, Newton JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: QJM

Year: 2008

Volume: 101

Issue: 7

Pages: 535-543

ISSN (print): 1460-2725

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2393

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcn043


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Funder referenceFunder name
G0500020Medical Research Council