New Article Published on Integrative Group Medical Visits and Health Equity

January 31, 2019

Osher Center researchers Ariana Thompson-Lastad and Maria Chao publish an article in Health Equity on how Integrative Group Medical Visits may improve access to non-pharmacologic approaches to chronic illness care and health promotion.

Integrative Group Medical Visits: A National Scoping Survey of Safety-Net Clinics. Health Equity. 2019 Jan 25;3(1):1-8. doi: 10.1089/heq.2018.0081.


Purpose: Integrative group medical visits (IGMVs) aim to increase access to complementary and integrative health care, which is particularly relevant for low-income people. We sought to describe IGMV programs in US safety-net clinics through a survey of providers.

Methods: An online and paper survey was conducted to collect data on the use of complementary health approach

es and characteristics of IGMV programs. We recruited a purposive sample of safety-net clinicians via national meetings and listservs.

Results: Fifty-seven clinicians reported on group medical visits. Forty percent worked in federally qualified health centers, 57% in safety-net or teaching hospitals, 23% in other settings such as free clinics. Thirty-seven respondents in 11 states provided care in IGMVs, most commonly for chronic pain and diabetes. Nutrition (70%), mindfulness/meditation/breathing (59%), and tai chi/yoga/other movement practices (51%) were the most common treatment approaches in IGMVs.

Conclusion: Safety-net institutions in 11 states offered IGMVs to treat a range of chronic conditions. IGMVs are an innovative model to improve access to non-pharmacologic approaches to chronic illness care and health promotion. They may advance health equity by serving patients negatively impacted by health and health care disparities.

Click here to read the full article.

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