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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.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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