Table 2

Responses to questions relevant to definitions of multimorbidity and complex multimorbidity. Data are percentage of panellists agreeing (and Delphi survey round (R))

Question or statementProfessional panellistsPublic panellists
Definition of multimorbidity
 Multimorbidity is two or more long term conditions84.8 (R2)88.0 (R1)
 Complex multimorbidity is a useful idea87.5 (R2)84.0 (R2)
 Complex multimorbidity is three or more long term conditionsNo consensus76.0 (R3)
Types of conditions to include
 Long term means present for six months or more70.5 (R2)No consensus
 Long term means present for 12 months or moreNo consensus76.0 (R1)
 Medical diagnoses99.1 (R2)96.8 (R1)
 Clinical risk factorsNo consensus74.2 (R2)
 Currently active98.7 (R1)93.5 (R2)
 Permanent in their effects98.6 (R1)96.0 (R1)
 Requiring current treatment, care, or therapy100.0 (R2)96.8 (R2)
 Requiring surveillance74.7 (R3)88.0 (R3)
 Remitting-relapsing conditions requiring ongoing treatment or care93.8 (R3)92.0 (R3)
Counting or categorisation
 Count individual conditions not broad disease categories72.0 (R1)88.0 (R1)
 Count individual cancers separatelyNo consensus76.0 (R1)
Criteria for selecting conditions relating to impact
 Significantly increase risk of death94.6 (R2)100 (R1)
 Significantly reduce quality of life96.6 (R1)93.5 (R2)
 Cause frailty89.9 (R2)90.3 (R2)
 Cause physical disability93.3 (R1)96.8 (R2)
 Significantly worsen mental health92.6 (R1)87.1 (R2)
 Significantly worsen self-perceived health status77.4 (R2)No consensus
 Significantly increase treatment burden87.4 (R2)87.1 (R2)
 Impacted by social deprivation and povertyNo consensus74.2 (R2)
Data source
 Conditions should be the same/similar in both self-report and clinical/administrative database studies71.8 (R2)96.0 (R2)
Purposes where a simple count preferred or acceptable*
 Estimating prevalence83.7 (R3)Not asked
 Identifying and counting disease clusters80.2 (R3)Not asked
 Exploring trajectories of multimorbidity72.7 (R3)Not asked
Purposes where weighted measure preferred or acceptable*
 Assessing severity of disease burden94.5 (R3)Not asked
 Risk adjustment or outcome prediction91.2 (R3)Not asked
Outcomes important to weight against
 Death92.8 (R1)96.8 (R2)
 Healthcare use83.7 (R1)90.3 (R2)
 Health related quality of life92.3 (R1)90.3 (R2)
 Physical disability87.8 (R1)86.7 (R2)
 Frailty86.3 (R1)76.7 (R2)
  • Absolute numbers for percentage data are as follows: professional panel, round 1 n=150, round 2 n=112, round 3 n=97; public panel, round 1 n=25, round 2 n=31, round 3 n=25.

  • *Panellists could either state that they preferred a simple or weighted measure for the listed options, or that a simple or weighted measure were both acceptable; values are the sum of "preferred" or "acceptable."