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Other side of the coin for personalised medicine and healthcare: content analysis of 'personalised' practices in the literature

Cesuroglu, T.; Syurina, E.; Feron, F.; Krumeich, A.

Bmj Open 6(7): E010243

2016


ISSN/ISBN: 2044-6055
PMID: 27412099
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010243
Accession: 058479044

Various terms and definitions are used to describe personalised approaches to medicine and healthcare, but in ambiguous and inconsistent ways. They mostly have been defined in a top-down manner. However, actual practices might take different paths. Here, we aimed to provide a 'practice-based' perspective on the debate by analysing the content of 'personalised' practices published in the literature. The search in PubMed and EMBASE (April 2014) using the terms frequently used for personalised approaches resulted in 5333 records. 2 independent researchers used different strategies for screening, resulting in 157 articles describing 88 'personalised' practices that were implemented/presented on at least 1 individual/patient case. The content analysis was grounded on these data and did not have a priori analytical frameworks. 'Personalised medicine/healthcare' can be a commodity in the healthcare market, a way how health services are provided, or a keyword for emerging applications. It can help individuals/patients to gain control of their health, health professionals to provide better services, healthcare organisations to increase effectiveness and efficiency, or national health systems to increase performance. Country examples indicated that for integration of practices into health services, attitude towards innovations and health system and policy context is important. Categorisation based on the terms or the technologies used, if any, was not possible. This study is the first to provide a comprehensive content analysis of the 'personalised' practices in the literature. Unlike the top-down definitions, our findings highlighted not the technologies but real-life issues faced by the practices. 'Personalised medicine' and 'personalised healthcare' can be differentiated by using the former for specific tools available and the latter for health services with a holistic approach, implemented in certain contexts. To realise integration of 'personalised medicine/healthcare' into real life, science, technology, health policy and practice, and society domains must work together.

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