|Callahan and Harris co-author Institute of Medicine report on chronic illness|
|February 01, 2012|
Two members of the UNC public health faculty are co-authors of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released this week that calls for immediate action to reduce the nation's burden from all forms of chronic illness.
Leigh Callahan, PhD, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Russell Harris, MD, MPH, director of the health care and prevention concentration in the School's Public Health Leadership Program and adjunct professor of epidemiology, were among the internationally recognized experts who worked for one year to compile the recommendations.
The report, "Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action," was released Jan. 31.
"This call to action underscores the importance of an integrated framework of coordination between public health, clinical care, and community agencies to ensure that individuals with chronic illness live well with their conditions," said Callahan, who is a member of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center.
"The report shows how important it is for us to close the gap between public health agencies and medical care institutions so as to form a seamless system of ongoing support and care for individuals and families affected by chronic conditions," Harris said.
The committee focused on chronic conditions in general, illustrating their points with nine exemplar conditions. These and other chronic conditions create a large burden for the country, with notable implications for the nation's health and economy and the quality of life of its people. According to the report, chronic conditions are similar in that they all lead to reduced function, a need for daily management and increased risk for further decline.
Furthermore, all chronic conditions have negative effects on families and caregivers. The medical system alone is inadequate to provide the needed support and care for these individuals and families, but must reach out to communities to create new partnerships and structures. Various models for these structures should be developed and tested.
The nine exemplar conditions identified in the report are arthritis, cancer survivorship, chronic pain, dementia, depression, type 2 diabetes, posttraumatic disabling condition, schizophrenia, and vision and hearing loss.
The seventeen recommendations of the committee are believed to be important strategies and steps to support public health action to help individuals living with chronic illnesses.
The entire report can be found at the Institute of Medicine website.
Callahan also is a professor in the departments of medicine and social medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and a research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
Harris is a professor of medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and senior investigator at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research.
|Last updated February 02, 2012|