As the US (and the rest of the world) slowly continues it’s implementation of EMRs and online scheduling, studies like one recently published in Neurology will become a little easier. The study explored the feasibility of group patient visits vs one-on-one visits for follow-up appointments and patient education sessions.
From the abstract:
Methods: We conducted a 12-month, randomized trial of group patient visits vs usual (one-on-one) care for patients with PD. Visits were led by one of 3 study physicians, included patients and caregivers, and lasted approximately 90 minutes. Those receiving group visits had 4 sessions over 12 months. The primary outcome measure was feasibility as measured by the ability to recruit participants and by the proportion of participants who completed the study. The primary efficacy outcome was quality of life as measured by the PD Questionnaire-39.
Results: Thirty patients and 27 caregivers enrolled in the study. Thirteen of the 15 patients randomized to group patient visits and 14 of the 15 randomized to usual care completed the study. Quality of life measured 12 months after baseline between the 2 groups was not different (25.9 points for group patient visits vs 26.0 points for usual care; p = 0.99).
Conclusions: Group patient visits may be a feasible means of providing care to individuals with PD and may offer an alternative or complementary method of care delivery for some patients and physicians.
Note that in this study the control patients were given 30 min appointments, which is pretty generous for a chronic disease follow-up appointment. Also, aside from the clinical outcomes, group work is probably more scalable and cost effective than individual appointments.
Full Abstract in Neurology:Group patient visits for Parkinson disease
AP:Exploring group checkups for diabetes, Parkinson’s