Developing a model of health assessment and education in primary-care based Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) at the Durham VA

Personalized Health Planning in Shared Medical Appointments (PHP SMA) is one of three clinical pathways for personalized health care at the Durham VA Medical Center (DURVAMC) and Community Based Outpatient Centers (CBOCs) that was funded by the 2016-2018 Whole Health Design Site grant.

In groups of up to twelve Veterans, participants engaged in facilitated instruction of various wellness topics in an eight-session curriculum over the course of four months. Topics included mental, physical, and emotional well-being. A formal mindfulness meditation practice was conducted at each session. Participants were recruited based on a pre-diabetic A1c reading between 5.7 and 6.4.

Participants completed a Personal Health Inventory (PHI) at Session 1 and at Session 2, patients then synthesized their priorities and goals with the provider’s health assessment to create shared SMART goals in a Personal Health Plan (PHP).  Patients received a 1:1 with the provider at each subsequent session to follow up on SMART goals and action steps.

At the conclusion of the program, Veteran participants took steps toward establishing effective health self-management strategies that improved patient outcomes and experience through a unique model that synergized personalized health care and peer support.