Behavior changes in patients with diabetes and hypertension after experiencing shared medical appointments

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Purpose:This project examined recently implemented shared medical appointments (SMAs) at a free clinic for patients with diabetes and/or hypertension. Changes in patients' self-managing behaviors, specifically exercise and goal-setting activity, were explored after participating in SMAs for 4 months.Data sources:The study employed a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design. Participants completed a questionnaire of their self-managing behaviors and a behavioral action plan at each SMA. The SMAs were facilitated in English, Spanish, and bilingually (English and Spanish) with a total of 37 participants.Conclusions:Descriptive analysis showed a significant increase in exercise time with a mean increase of 86 min per week at post-SMA (p= .002, 95% confidence interval [CI]). Each participant identified a measurable goal, and 97% of participants reported achieving or almost achieving their goals. Males reported a significantly (p= .002, 95% CI) larger increase in exercise time than women. Variance of self-managing behaviors among the English, Spanish, and bilingual SMAs was statistically not significant.Implications for practice:Though much evidence exists demonstrating that SMAs provide effective quality care, literature is lacking in examining patients' self-managing behaviors after participation in language-specific SMAs. Understanding patients' response to programs that address the needs of the individual leads to more effective programs.

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