Objective: Review the effectiveness of group visits (appointments of multiple patients) on quality of life, function, self-efficacy, utilization, and biophysical outcomes in randomized controlled trials of patients with chronic conditions. Methods: We searched MEDLINE®, Cochrane, CINAHL, and PsycINFO to January 2013 for English-language trials of educational group visits led by non-prescribing facilitators (e.g., peer educators). Results: We report on 80 arthritis/falls (n= 22), asthma/COPD (n= 10), CHF/hypertension (n= 12), diabetes (n= 29), multiple conditions (n= 4), and pain (n= 4) studies. We found moderate evidence of improved short-term self-efficacy in patients with arthritis (10 studies) and diabetes (10 studies). We found no consistent evidence of improved quality of life; however a moderately strong body of evidence suggests peer-led community-based programs might improve quality of life and utilization in patients with multiple chronic conditions. Meta-analyses found short- (14 studies; mean change HbA1c. = -0.27, CI. = -0.44, 0.11) and long-term (10 studies; mean change HbA1c. = -0.23, CI. = -0.44, -0.02) glycemic improvement. Conclusions: Group visits may improve self-efficacy and glycemic control. There was little consistent evidence of improved quality of life, functional status, or utilization. Practice implications: Group visits represent a reasonable alternative for educating patients with chronic illness, though varied participation/retention suggests they should not be the sole alternative.
- Chronic disease
- Chronic disease self-management
- Group visits
- Health education
ASJC Scopus subject areas