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August 14, 2013

The Critical Role of Caregivers in Achieving Patient-Centered Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2013;310(6):575-576. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7310

Achieving high-quality, cost-effective medical care remains an elusive goal of the US health care system, but there is widespread agreement that patient-centered care will be a key ingredient.1 Yet for frail elders and patients with advanced illness, many of whom have multiple chronic diseases, patient-centered care is impossible without caregiver involvement. Although advocacy groups such as the National Alliance for Caregivers have long endorsed attention to family members and prominent research organizations such as the newly created Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute mention families in their research agendas, the critical role of caregivers deserves considerably more attention from clinicians.

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