WelcomeAbout UsEducationNews Archive/EventsResearchResources

Tell us what you think!
Tell us what you think!

An Interprofessional Approach to Chronic Conditions

Over 130 million Americans have one or more chronic illnesses and more than 70% percent of health care costs are expended on the care of patients with chronic disease. The increase prevalence of chronic conditions, particularly among the elderly, has led to new models of chronic care management. Management of chronic conditions focus on treating the disease, but also managing its symptoms and improving the function and quality of life of the patient/client. New practice guidelines continue to evolve in caring for patients with chronic conditions. Collaboration among health professionals is the best approach in caring for patients with chronic conditions, particularly forming a partnership between caregivers and patients. This collaborative model in managing patients with chronic conditions will enable patients to take an active role in their own care.

This series of learning modules will cover an important area of chronic conditions which all health care professionals should focus on in order to improve geriatric care.

Module 4: Social Issues Related to Chronic Conditions


Doris Chechotka-McQuade, PhD
Lisa Mattei MPAS, PA-C
Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS

Christine Arenson, MD, Charles Brown, MSW, LCSW, Nancy L. Chernett, MPH,
Christine Hsieh, MD, Leigh Ann Hewston, PT, MEd., Tracey Vause-Earland, MS, OTR/L

The Eastern Pennsylvania-Delaware Geriatric Education Center (EPaD GEC) is funded by the Department of Human and Health Services Grant #D31HP08834


Social issues are matters that explicitly or implicitly impact member's of society. This module will focus on how these issues impact an individual's health condition and access to care.

Chronic conditions are "any conditions that require ongoing adjustments by the affected person and interactions with the health care system."
(Improving chronic illness care, 2008)

Conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and tobacco use are considered to be chronic conditions. Chronic conditions are continuing to increase; therefore developing innovative and impactful methods to deliver quality patient care are essential. It is suggested that: "133 million people, or almost half of all Americans, live with a chronic condition. That number is projected to increase by more than one percent per year by 2030, resulting in an estimated chronically ill population of 171 million."
(IImproving chronic illness care, 2008)

Social issues are certainly a challenge to adequate healthcare for the older adult. However, identifying appropriate resources and utilizing evidence based models such as the Chronic Care Model and interprofessional care will assist with overcoming obstacles associated with this topic area.

The concept of this module is to give healthcare professionals and students an understanding of chronic illness on older people as a determent for quality of life.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this module, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify the complexities of the biopsychosocial context of chronic conditions for older persons.
  • Recognize the impact of social issues in managing older persons with chronic conditions.
  • Identify the role of community aging service network to support and manage the care of older adults.
  • Integrate the core values of service delivery into the Chronic Care Model.
  • Recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the provision of chronic care services.
Estimated time for completion: 30 minutes

Since this module will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, it is designed to track your progress allowing you to complete the module in more than one sitting. This progress tracking feature requires that you use the same computer each time you return to work on the module.

Technical Requirements and Notes:

This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in.

The module contains links to external websites which will open in a new browser window. Your browser's back button will not return to the module, so these new windows should be closed.

TJU/H Campus Key users, please login using the following:
    Campus Key: 


All other users, please login using the following:
    WEB-ID (lastname + last four digits of your SS#, i.e. smith1234):