Article Text

  1. K. L. Treit,
  2. A. Keerbs
  1. Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Background Group visits are a popular new type of patient-physician encounter. The goal of the group visit is to create an environment where patients with a shared chronic condition work together with a physician and other health care providers to manage their disease. This collaborative care model has been shown to decrease participants' utilization of the emergency room and increase the likelihood that patients receive recommended services for their chronic condition. To date, no studies of group visits have been done with low-income, community health center populations. Also, these studies have not examined the population of patients who are not interested in attending group visits. The Bothell Kenmore Community Health Center has proposed the use of group visits for their diabetic population.

Study Design and Methods A phone survey was created to determine whether there was a significant level of interest for this type of resource and what factors might determine an individual's decision to participate in group visits. The clinic hypothesized that a number of variables might influence patients' decisions to attend group visits. These variables include financial resources, older age, transportation resources, patients' perceived efficacy of their diabetes self-care, health status, and patients' perceived control over their health. The SF-12 and the locus of control were used to capture the last two variables. Fifty-two patients participated in the survey. Sixty-four percent of the patients were interested in participating, while 15% said they were unsure and 21% said they were not interested. For the above-mentioned variables, the only variable that had a significant impact on participation was financial. Fifty-five percent of those interested in group visits stated that finances would affect their decision and 0% of those not interested in group visits statied that it would affect their decision.

Conclusion The survey showed that the group visit model attracts individuals from a broad range of emotional and physical health statuses.

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