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.
© 2015 The Author(s).