Primary Care: Adding Laypersons to the Team Interview with: Dr. Richard Adair
Medicine Clinic, 2800 Chicago Avenue South, #250, Minneapolis, MN 55407 What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Layperson “care guides” working in primary care offices can help chronic disease patients reach recommended care goals at a reasonable cost. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: Costs were quite low and the non-clinical care guides were welcomed by patients, doctors, and nurses. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Teamwork can help many patients with chronic disease.  Patients appreciate face-to-face rather than telephone coaching, and some learn better from peer figures like community health workers than from authority figures like nurses and doctors.  Properly selected and trained laypersons can be a new and relatively inexpensive source of help in a primary care office. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer:  Let’s study new ways of getting the job done in primary care.


Richard Adair, Douglas R. Wholey, Jon Christianson, Katie M. White, Heather Britt, Suhna Lee; Improving Chronic Disease Care by Adding Laypersons to the Primary Care TeamA Parallel Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013 Aug;159(3):176-184.

Last Updated on August 15, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD