Send to

Choose Destination
CMAJ. 2013 Sep 17;185(13):E635-44. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.130053. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Effectiveness of group medical visits for improving diabetes care: a systematic review and meta-analysis.



Group medical visits, whereby health care professionals meet with groups of patients who have the same disease, have been introduced in primary care as a way to meet the increasing demand for health care delivery to patients with chronic diseases. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence on the effectiveness of such visits for patients with diabetes.


We conducted a systematic review of all relevant studies published from 1947 to February 2012 identified in a search of electronic databases and grey literature. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies published in English that included patients aged 16-80 years with type 1 or 2 diabetes and that had group medical visits as the intervention. These studies were assessed for methodologic quality. We included data only from the RCTs in the meta-analysis.


Of the 94 studies identified, we selected 26 that met our inclusion criteria, 13 of which were RCTs. Group medical visits had a positive effect on clinical and patient-reported outcomes, with significant reductions in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c reduction -0.46%, 95% confidence interval -0.80% to -0.31%). We were unable to assess the effect of group medical visits on processes of care because of an insufficient number of RCTs that reported on this outcome.


Group medical visits for patients with diabetes were found to be effective in terms of reducing HbA1c. The results of our meta-analysis suggest that wider implementation of group medical visits for patients with diabetes will have a positive effect on patient outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central Icon for PubMed Health
Loading ...
Support Center