Department of Family Medicine; Center for Integrated Primary Care
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Integrative Medicine | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies
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 approaches 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.
chronic disease, community health centers, integrative medicine, safety-net providers
Rights and Permissions
Copyright Ariana Thompson-Lastad et al. 2018; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI of Published Version
Health Equity. 2019 Jan 25;3(1):1-8. doi: 10.1089/heq.2018.0081. eCollection 2019. Link to article on publisher's site
Thompson-Lastad A, Gardiner P, Chao MT. (2019). Integrative Group Medical Visits: A National Scoping Survey of Safety-Net Clinics. Open Access Articles. https://doi.org/10.1089/heq.2018.0081. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/oapubs/3726
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Alternative and Complementary Medicine Commons, Community Health and Preventive Medicine Commons, Health Services Administration Commons, Health Services Research Commons, Integrative Medicine Commons, Movement and Mind-Body Therapies Commons