About 30% of adults in the UK have 2 or more long-term conditions (i.e., multimorbidity), and this figure increases to 50% in adults over 50 years old. On top of affecting peoples’ quality of life, it is estimated that half of all GP appointments are related to LTCs, equating to £7 of every £10 of total health and social care expenditure.
Multimorbidity is not limited to physical health conditions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reports that 34% of adults with multimorbidity have both physical and mental health conditions, a combination that severely impacts people's ability to self-manage their health.
Holly Health, a fully digital health and wellbeing solution, is a cost-effective self-management tool that empowers users to take small and achievable actions that will have a long-term effect on their overall health and wellbeing. 47% of Holly Health users have 2 or more LTCs (including physical and mental health conditions) and preliminary evidence suggests that 33% of users need less support from their GP as a result of using Holly Health for 8 weeks.
The next step for us was to directly ask our users about any perceived impact of Holly Health on their LTCs, and their overall ability to manage their health.
To answer this question, we sent an online survey to onboarded users who had been with us for more than 8 weeks. As a result, we received responses from 120 users with long-term conditions spreading across depression/anxiety, cardiovascular-related conditions (e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke), musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions (e.g. arthritis, joint mobility issues, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis) and type 2 diabetes.
Over a third of respondents said that the symptoms associated with their LTC had improved after using Holly Health. A few reported improvements were lowering blood sugar, stabilising blood pressure, improved mood, lower anxiety, and better sleep. Here are a few user quotes:
“I was in the pre-diabetic range but with exercise and watching what I eat I have moved out of this range.”
“My blood pressure seems to have stabilised and I’m not as anxious”
“I have depression and Holly Health has always really helped me. I am glad I found it from my doctors. It gives me hope and positivity “
“Dropping an anti-depressant tablet “
“I think at this point my depression is in regression or at least under Control without medication”
“Feel lighter, fitter & more mentally fit”
“Less depressive episodes or anxiety challenges and able to sleep more easily”
Reflecting the impact of Holly Health on self-management, 50% of users reported feeling more confident in managing their condition, and their health in general. Feeling in control and having more awareness of everyday behaviours were two key themes that emerged from user testimonials. Here are a few examples:
“The tips in Holly made me more mindful of my situation and made me more accountable for my actions “
“Listening to my mind and body more”
“I know what works for me now “
“I feel less anxious and more in control”
“Definitely finding it easier to handle the symptoms of my anxiety when they happen”.
“I feel more confident to exercise “
“The Holly Health app has encouraged me to reflect positively about diet and making sure I have positive routines i.e. reading before I go to sleep. It’s had a long lasting impact.”
“The habits I have introduced into my life have made me more aware of how I can support myself and can manage my mental health”
“I definitely feel it’s a help to have access to holly Health and encourages a more positive approach to managing my insomnia!”
“I can set myself a plan for the day and not feel pressure to do things all in one go. It’s helped my mental and physical well-being”
Holly Health delivers care through Primary Care Networks (and integrated care systems), public health services and private providers - with over 150 NHS partners so far. With these encouraging results, we feel inspired to continue on our mission to support entire populations to manage their long-term health through an evidence-based, accessible, personalised and compassionate approach. If you’d like to talk to a member of the team, please contact [email protected].