Self-Management for Chronically Ill Pays Off with Improved Outcomes, Fewer Office Visits

Creation of a chronic disease management system for primary care practice

From 1998 to 2002, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine developed and evaluated a disease management/patient self-care program for patients with chronic disease. The program, called "Health Partners," offered patients a choice of enrolling in either self-management education workshops or group visits with physicians or both.

Key Findings

Key findings derived from the first year of observations included:

  • Measured physical disability continued to increase during the first year of observation, but most other measured outcomes remained stable or improved.
  • Participants made fewer office visits than they had before entering the program.
  • Participants in group visits found the experience more helpful than did workshop attendees, but the latter improved more on the measured outcomes.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $345,589.