Models of care for chronic conditions in low/middle-income countries: a 'best fit' framework synthesis

Dorothy Lall*, Nora Engel, Narayanan Devadasan, Klasien Horstman, Bart Criel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Management of chronic conditions is a challenge for healthcare delivery systems world over and especially for low/middle-income countries (LMIC). Redesigning primary care to deliver quality care for chronic conditions is a need of the hour. However, much of the literature is from the experience of high-income countries. We conducted a synthesis of qualitative findings regarding care for chronic conditions at primary care facilities in LMICs. The themes identified were used to adapt the existing chronic care model (CCM) for application in an LMIC using the 'best fit' framework synthesis methodology. Primary qualitative research studies were systematically searched and coded using themes of the CCM. The results that could not be coded were thematically analysed to generate themes to enrich the model. Search strategy keywords were: primary health care, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, chronic disease, developing countries, low, middle-income countries and LMIC country names as classified by the World Bank. The search yielded 404 articles, 338 were excluded after reviewing abstracts. Further, 42 articles were excluded based on criteria. Twenty-four studies were included for analysis. All themes of the CCM, identified a priori, were represented in primary studies. Four additional themes for the model were identified: a focus on the quality of communication between health professionals and patients, availability of essential medicines, diagnostics and trained personnel at decentralised levels of healthcare, and mechanisms for coordination between healthcare providers. We recommend including these in the CCM to make it relevant for application in an LMIC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001077
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018



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