Special Issue Call for Submissions: The Science of Care for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions

Sponsored by: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Submission deadline: September 30, 2020

Health Services Research (HSR) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are partnering to publish a Special Issue on The Science of Care for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions, to be co-edited by Arlene S. Bierman, MD, MS and Rachel Werner MD, PhD.

Patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) account for 64% of all clinician visits, 70% of all in-patient hospital stays, 83% of all prescriptions, and 71% of all health care spending. Low income individuals and racial/ethnic minorities develop MCC at earlier ages. Yet health care systems are increasingly challenged to effectively address the needs of people with MCCs, and there is a critical mismatch between the way care is delivered (disease-specific) and the whole-person (patient-centered) care that would better address the needs of and improve outcomes of people with MCC. In support of our overarching mission to improve patient’s lives, AHRQ has identified improving care for people with MCC as a critical goal and area for research. More specifically, AHRQ is committed to working to create a sustainable health care system that delivers high-value, coordinated, integrated, patient-centered care based in primary care and optimizing individual and population health by preventing and effectively managing multiple chronic conditions.

As one step in pursuit of this goal, AHRQ is hosting a Research Summit to engage key stakeholders – including producers, users and beneficiaries of AHRQ research– in a dialogue around AHRQ’s goal of improving care for persons with MCC. The Summit will focus on three key areas:

  • current and emerging models of high-value care for persons with MCC
  • patient and family engagement to promote high quality care for persons with MCC
  • health IT solutions to patient-level, practice-level and system-level challenges associated with caring for people with MCC.

AHRQ will partner with HSR to publish a Special Issue in 2021 to disseminate evidence, research, and research needs emerging from the Summit and further advance the overall Summit goals. For this Special Issue, we also invite the research community at large and AHRQ grantees in particular to submit studies, evaluations, and policy analyses that use rigorous scientific research methods to advance understanding of how to improve the care of patients with MCC.

Illustrative examples of topics include but are not limited to:

  1. Real-world research relating to the development, implementation, evaluation, or scaling-up of effective models of care to prevent and manage MCC that optimize health outcomes, improve quality, and patient, caregiver and clinician experience.
  2. Evidence and guidelines that take into account the cumulative and interactive effects of MCC along with the burdens of treatment.
  3. New ways of coordinating care that overcome traditional silos, support teamwork, or promote continuity of care.
  4. Methods for reducing treatment burden (e.g., by simplifying, deprescribing, and coordinating care plans across health care silos and using community resources).
  5. Innovative uses of technology to enable effective care coordination and integration and self-management support.
  6. Innovations in clinical decision support to reduce: (a) underuse of evidence-based cures and palliative care, (b) overuse of low-value care, (c) error, and (d) cognitive load for patients and caregivers.
  7. Approaches for advancing whole-person care through use of shared decision-making and co-production of knowledge.
  8. Approaches to overcome the adverse effects of place (e.g., rural), socioeconomics, race and ethnicity, and other factors including discrimination, isolation, and deprivation, to reduce their contribution to both the premature and disproportionate accumulation of chronic conditions and to reduce inequities in access, experience, and quality of care.
  9. Policies, payment and care delivery models to support the care of patients with MCC.

All papers must pertain to the science of care and must report the results of original research, or lessons compiled from original research. Papers that are opinion pieces or reviews will not be considered; the issue may include a framework/review paper and/or a summary/commentary, but these will be solicited separately from selected authors. We strongly encourage cutting-edge research that leverages novel data and that addresses key research questions that can lay a foundation for future investigation.

The deadline for initial submission of abstracts is September 30, 2020. Abstracts may not exceed 300 words and must otherwise be formatted as indicated in the “Instructions for Authors” at https://www.hsr.org/system/files?file=media/file/2019/12/HSR-Instructions-for-Authors-2019-Update.pdf. These abstracts will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review panel that will select the best abstracts to receive invitations to submit full manuscripts. The evaluation criteria will include: (1) quality, rigor and originality; (2) significance and usefulness for advancing efforts to improve care and care delivery for persons with MCC; and (3) clarity of writing and presentation.

Manuscripts submitted for the Special Issue will first undergo the same HSR peer review process as all regular manuscripts. However, due to the timeline for publishing the Special Issue, HSR will monitor the progress of manuscripts through the review process to shorten the overall review process. Likewise, authors should expect to be especially prompt in returning requested revisions. All accepted articles will be published electronically within a few weeks of acceptance using Wiley’s Early View process. Articles published through Early View are fully published, appear in PubMed, and can be cited. Approximately 6 to 8 articles will be selected, based on the most original and significant work addressing the topic of comparative health systems. The print publication date for the Special Issue will be October 2021.

Key dates for authors:

If you would like to submit your abstract for consideration, please email your abstract and co-author contact information to the editorial office at hsr@aha.org, including “Special Issue on Multiple Chronic Conditions” in the subject line.

  • September 30, 2020: Submission deadline for abstracts for the Special Issue
  • October 31, 2020: Notification of manuscript invitation for Special Issue
  • December 31, 2020: Submission deadline of manuscripts for the Special Issue.
  • October 2021: Publication of the Special Issue