Context: Movement toward the Medical Home and group medical visits (GMV).
Objective: To investigate the impact of a GMV program in an underserved Latino community.
Design: Year-long observational community-based research pilot study evaluating the impact of twice weekly GMVs on quality of life, depression, and loneliness in Latinos with diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease.
Setting: The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Lawrence, MA. Approved by the Tufts University review committee on human subjects as part of the CDC funded Latino Health 2010 initiative to evaluate and eliminate health disparities in minority populations. IRB # 5243.
Patients: Fifty-seven Latino adults with diabetes and heart disease risk factors.
Interventions: Participants had two intervention opportunities weekly, including the GMV.
Main outcome measures: Despite a high dropout rate, and baseline differences between groups, we found reduced depression and loneliness and improved quality-of-life indicators for participants with high attendance to GMVs during one year compared to those with low attendance. Mean depression scores in high attendees, measured by the Zung Depression Scale, improved from 46.83 to 38.85 (p < .001). Mean loneliness scores for high attendees, measured by the UCLA Loneliness Questionnaire, improved from 49.61 to 37.6 (P < .001). Quality-of-life indicators, measured by SF 36, showed statistically significant improvement in general health, vitality, bodily pain, mental health, and role-emotional (P < .05). High attendees also maintained constant weight with the average decreasing slightly during the year-long intervention.
Results: Attending GMVs regularly was associated with improved health-related quality of life, decreased loneliness, decreased depression, and no weight gain. Despite a high dropout rate there were many participants mainly female. More research is needed.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.