Group Medical Visits: An Innovative Solution for Chronic Pain Management in a Rural Context


Original Presentation Date: 3/28/2019

Facilitator Lesson Plan

The Group Medical Visits teaching kit contains all you need to host your own team-based, active-learning event featuring work by Jaclyn Thatcher, RN, DNP/FNP-S, from Washington State University and Jacob Thatcher, OMS IV, at Pacific Northwest University.

Group Medical Visits (GMVs) have the potential to transform chronic pain management in rural primary care and the delivery of medical care in the United States. Research shows GMVs, or Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs), are an innovative solution to bring patients with common needs together to improve understanding, treatment, well-being, and quality of life. This teaching kit explores GMV chronic pain management intervention techniques and conclusions from a rural primary practice setting in Idaho. GMV rural considerations include: recruitment, facilitation, retention, and patient experiences.

NOTE: We anticipate this teaching kit to be relevant until 2025. Group medical visits and medication assisted treatment will continue to evolve, and the content of this kit will likely be less and less useful.

If you have questions about how to use or to adapt this teaching kit to your setting, contact us to schedule a phone call. We are happy to go over the details. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities for treating opioid misuse and chronic pain in rural primary care settings.
  • Define group medical visits, their process, and unique considerations in the rural setting.
  • Initiate planning for group medical visits in their setting.
Jaclyn Thatcher

Jaclyn Thatcher, RN, DNP/FNP-S,
Washington State University

Jacob Thatcher

Jacob Thatcher, OMS IV
Pacific Northwest University

Recommended Steps

Before your session
  1. Recruit your teams. Ideally, 4 teams of 3-5 participants.
  2. Schedule a room that can accommodate all your participants and AV to play the presentation.
  3. Distribute the Pre-Session link
  4. Download the Presentation Slide Deck.
  5. Review the Slide Deck. Be sure to look at the presenter notes.
During your session
  1. Arrange your participants into teams within the room.
  2. Facilitate your session by following the prompts in the presenter notes of the Slide Deck.
  3. Facilitate general discussion with the full group. Go over any lingering thoughts.
  4. Evaluate the materials on your experience.
Click to download the presentation slide deck

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