Imbedding Interdisciplinary Diabetes Group Visits Into a Community-Based Medical Setting

Diabetes Educ. 2016 Feb;42(1):96-107. doi: 10.1177/0145721715620022. Epub 2015 Dec 7.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an interdisciplinary approach and test the efficacy of diabetes group visits tailored to low-income patients in a community-based medical practice.

Methods: A randomized repeated measures design was used with 40 patients in the experimental group and 40 patients in the control group. The diabetes group visit consisted of individualized sessions with a physician or nurse practitioner to review medications and conduct a medical examination and group sessions to deliver diabetes self-management education. Data collected included clinical data and questionnaires. A control group shared comparable demographic characteristics, medication regimens, and baseline A1C levels.

Results: The patients in the experimental group decreased their A1C, triglycerides, and heart rate from time 1 to time 5 and maintained their high-density lipoprotein significantly more than the control group. In exit interviews, the patients said that the group diabetes visits helped them be more accountable about their diabetes self-management goals.

Conclusions: Diabetes group visits that combined diabetes self-management education and a medical visit with a health care provider improved A1C and were well received by the patients. The study provided patients with a quality program in an environment in which they felt safe to learn and that met them where they were in their diabetes self-management behaviors. This approach could be widely disseminated into other clinic settings that serve patients with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Community Health Centers*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Poverty
  • Self Care / methods


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human