Theses Master's

Understanding integrative group medical visits for chronic disease management and prevention

Jhumkhawala, Vama

Chronic disease is a prevalent issue in the United States and continues to increase in economic cost and in burden to patients and healthcare. Group medical visits have been an intervention for chronic disease self-management, and in the past twenty year there has been an emergence of integrative group medical visits (IGMVs). These IGMVs bring together alternative medicine practices, such as meditation, yoga, and others, and group sessions, in which individuals are able to learn about their health and discuss their experiences with the presence of peers and providers. While individual studies have been conducted on IGMV implementation and effectiveness, there is limited data on IGMV at a larger scale. A literature review was conducted to determine what is currently understood about the features of the IGMVs, asses how these benefits compare to those of traditional visits, and to identify possible limitations of the IGMV model. The review found that the components of the IGMV that led to its effectiveness include the presence of multiple providers and practitioners, the improved relationship between providers and patients due to interaction in the group setting, interactions between patients, and the use of integrative medical practices. Through data gathered in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies, there was evidence, patient reports, and provider feedback that the IGMV model was better than the traditional care model in being able to provide the care that patients need. However, limitations of IGMVs were the logistical barriers to attendance, lack of individualized care, language barriers, confidentiality concerns, economic sustainability, and the increased efforts required by staff. While IGMVs may not be a replacement to the traditional visit model, it is a promising intervention that effectively empower patients to manage their health. Further studies may be required to better understand the cost-effectiveness of this model, but the evidence thus far supports its utility as a tertiary prevention model.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Sociomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Siegel, Karolynn
M.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
May 23, 2022