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Health Educ J. 2011 Mar;70(1):39-47.

Integrating the Chronic Care Model into a Novel Medical Student Course.

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Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14642.



To determine if integration of the Chronic Care Model into undergraduate medical education is associated with anticipated use of the Model and if student perceptions match actual integration of the Model into their community projects.


This was a cross-sectional study using qualitative and quantitative data.


A novel fourth-year medical student community health improvement course.


The study included 45 students who had enrolled in the course before introduction of the Model and 32 formally introduced to the Model through a lecture. Perceptions were measured through a survey and a focus group with data analyzed amongst and between cohorts. Projects were reviewed for actual integration of Model elements and these data were compared with reported student perceptions.


Although they were in general utilizing most elements of the Model, student perceptions of their use of Model elements significantly differed from actual use of particular elements (p<0.001). For instance, whereas the majority believed that their projects focused on the element of Community Resources, most projects actually focused on Self-Management Support. Students formally introduced to the Model trended toward the belief that it would enhance their ability to care for patients more than students without formal exposure to it (p=0.0516).


Although medical students may not recognize it, they may already focus their actions and thinking regarding health improvement toward patient self-management of their chronic disease. Although students require education and training if the Model is to be widely used, they may be naturally attracted to it.

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