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Diabetes Care. 2001 Jun;24(6):995-1000.

Group visits improve metabolic control in type 2 diabetes: a 2-year follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Corso AM Dogliotti 14, I-10126 Turin, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether group visits, delivered as routine diabetes care and structured according to a systemic education approach, are more effective than individual consultations in improving metabolic control in non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

In a randomized controlled clinical trial of 112 patients, 56 patients were allocated to groups of 9 or 10 individuals who participated in group consultations, and 56 patients (considered control subjects) underwent individual visits plus support education. All visits were scheduled every 3 months.

RESULTS:

After 2 years, HbA(1c) levels were lower in patients seen in groups than in control subjects (P < 0.002). Levels of HDL cholesterol had increased in patients seen in groups but had not increased in control subjects (P = 0.045). BMI (P = 0.06) and fasting triglyceride level (P = 0.053) were lower. Patients participating in group visits had improved knowledge of diabetes (P < 0.001) and quality of life (P < 0.001) and experienced more appropriate health behaviors (P < 0.001). Physicians spent less time seeing 9-10 patients as a group rather than individually, but patients had longer interaction with health care providers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Group consultations may improve metabolic control in the medium term by inducing more appropriate health behaviors. They are feasible in everyday clinical practice without increasing working hours.

PMID:
11375359
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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