Sharing or shuffling — realities of chronic disease care in general practice

Sue E Kirby, Joyce L Chong, Maureen Frances, Gawaine Powell Davies, David A Perkins, Nicholas A Zwar and Mark F Harris
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01920.x
Published online: 21 July 2008

To the Editor: We conducted a qualitative study to explore the perspectives of general practitioners and allied and other health professionals on their interactions in the care of patients with chronic disease, especially where Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) are involved. We interviewed 16 clinicians from urban and rural New South Wales who were involved in the care of patients with type 2 diabetes, ischaemic heart disease and hypertension — four GPs, two practice nurses, two medical specialists and eight allied health clinicians. Interviews took place from late 2006 to early 2007.

  • 1 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 South Eastern Sydney Division of General Practice, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Broken Hill Centre for Remote Health Research, University of Sydney, Broken Hill, NSW.



We thank the study participants for their time and frank and open contributions. The study was part of a project funded by the Australian Health Ministers’ Priority Driven Research Program.

  • 1. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Enhanced Primary Care Program: chronic disease management Medicare items. (accessed May 2008).
  • 2. Zwar NA, Hermiz O, Comino EJ, et al. Do multidisciplinary care plans result in better care for type 2 diabetes? Aust Fam Physician 2007; 36: 85-89.
  • 3. Shortus TD, McKenzie SH, Kemp LA, et al. Multidisciplinary care plans for diabetes: how are they used? Med J Aust 2007; 187: 78-81. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Wagner E. Chronic disease management: what will it take to improve care for chronic illness? Eff Clin Pract 1998; 1: 2-4.
  • 5. Wagner EH. The role of patient care teams in chronic disease management. BMJ 2000; 320: 569-572.


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