The elderly and aged often suffer from the co-occurrence of several medical conditions at once, a phenomenon known as “multimorbidity” that requires suitable diagnostic and treatment methods. The number of multimorbid patients will continue to rise over the coming years, and yet the current methods, structures and guidelines in place to address these patients’ needs are insufficient.
At present, evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the gold standard of therapies in the field of medicine. Instead of relying on scientifically unproven subjective experience, doctors or therapists should be basing their treatments on external evidence found in clinical studies. These studies, however, often do not include elderly or very old people and also fail to take into account the specific features of their medical conditions and daily coping mechanisms. The norm is several illnesses at once – on average eight pathologies – while medicines are only tested against a single pathology. It is against this background that the working group focuses on the current state of affairs regarding the medical care of old people in Germany, analyses problem areas and assesses further research needs.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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