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Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Jan;31(1):103-9. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0913.

Group visits hold great potential for improving diabetes care and outcomes, but best practices must be developed.

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Pace University's College of Health Professions, Lienhard School of Nursing, New York City, NY, USA.


A diagnosis of diabetes can require multiple changes in a person's behavior, diet, and lifestyle. Efforts to sustain these changes and manage this complex chronic disease can be difficult. Group visits, in which several patients meet together with a primary care provider and transdisciplinary team, have tremendous potential to improve health care quality, cost, and access. When group-based diabetes self-management education and a primary care visit occur within a single appointment, people with the disease can address multiple needs in one visit and take advantage of peer groups for support and motivation. A review of the literature demonstrates that the efficacy of group visits has a promising evidence base-but more needs to be learned about optimal group size and aspects of the model that should be standardized. An important first step is introducing a procedural code for group visits, so that providers and researchers can better track the efficacy of the group-visit model and develop best practices before the model is adopted systemwide.

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