Objective: This paper describes the views of European Rural General Practitioners regarding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the implementation of a Chronic Care Model (CCM) in European Rural Primary Care.
Design: A mixed-method, online survey. Data were collected between May and December 2017. Categorical data were analysed using descriptive methods while free text responses were analysed using qualitative methods.
Setting: Rural primary care in nine European countries (including Central and Eastern Europe).
Participants: 227 General Practitioners
Main outcomes measures: Respondents’ evaluations of a chronic care model in their rural healthcare settings in terms of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Results: The SWOT analysis revealed that the expertise of healthcare professionals and the strength of relationships and communications between professionals, caregivers and patients are positive components of the CCM system. However, ensuring adequate staffing levels and staff competency are issues that would need to be addressed. Opportunities included the need to enable patients to participate in decision making by ensuring adequate health literacy.
Conclusion: The chronic care model could certainly have benefits for healthcare in rural settings but staffing levels and staff competency would need to be addressed before implementation of CCM in such settings. Improving health literacy amongst patients and their carers will be essential to ensure their full participation in the implementation of a successful CCM.