Study Description

Shared medical appointments (SMAs) for diabetes have been shown to be an effective approach for helping patients manage their type-2 diabetes.

This important study sought to answer some questions around the best ways to deliver SMAs for primary care patients with diabetes - offering diabetes self-management education and support.

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes. Compared with people who don’t have diabetes, people with diabetes are more likely to have other serious health problems. These problems include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss. They may also be at risk for early death. Exercising, eating healthy, and taking medicines as directed can help patients manage their diabetes. Group or Shared Medical appointments (SMAs) are an effective way to educate patients and help them manage their diabetes.  

Diabetes shared medical appointments (SMAs) are an evidence-based strategy to provide patients with robust diabetes care management and typically include concurrent medical visits within a primary care practice. SMAs enable practices to provide diabetes self-management education (DSME) and self-management support (SMS) efficiently and effectively by utilizing a one-to-many education delivery model. This value-based approach can also assist practices with merit-based payment for improved health outcomes.

Invested in Diabetes Study Impact

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Study Findings

The Invested in Diabetes study compared effects of two models of diabetes SMAs — standardized and patient-driven — on patient-reported outcomes (diabetes distress, self-care behaviors) and clinical outcomes (hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, BMI):

The study’s primary patient-centered outcome was diabetes distress.

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Secondary outcomes included self-reported diabetes self-care behaviors, HbA1c, BMI, and blood pressure.

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Overall, diabetes SMAs improved diabetes distress, HbA1c, self-care behaviors. Both models led to similar outcomes, although standardized SMAs led to greater improvements in diabetes distress.

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Take Home Message: Patient-driven SMAs can be more expensive to set up and more challenging to coordinate and practices will have to take that into consideration when designing diabetes SMAs for their clinics.

Invested in Diabetes Publications