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UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine Research Projects

Current Projects

Department of Family Medicine (DFM) Pilot Project

The goals of the Research Program in the Department of Family Medicine (DFM) are to:

  1. Create a resource to nurture and advance an applied research agenda focused on primary care practice-based research; and
  2. Assist, support and guide DFM faculty in developing their Practice Based Research (PBR)/Scholarly Activities (SA) skills and accomplishments that will, in turn, support their careers and academic advancement.
More information

Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening

The CRC screening project was a pre-visit approach to patient education and decision making where we mailed web access to a decision aid video to patients prior to their visit with their primary care physician. We found that those who watched the video were more likely to get screened (35%) than those who didn’t (17%).

Diabetes Decision Aid Coaching

Using collaborative care (behavioral health) coaches as outreach providers we showed that simple messages of encouragement by phone can be an effective means of increasing self-management behaviors in patients with type 2 diabetes.

MyChart Pathway for Health Behavior Questionnaire

We have built a system to utilize the patient web portal in UCSD’s Electronic Health Record to administer health behavior questionnaires. Patients completing these questionnaires then can be directed to services that fit their specific needs (e.g., group medical visits, behavioral health therapist).

Group Medical Visits

Group Medical Visits (GMVs) are designed to increase self-management behaviors in patients with chronic illness. However such groups are not consistently found to be helpful. Our group medical visits provide a group setting for patients to learn self-management skills, discuss goal setting and review their progress. Our analysis found that numerous barriers exist to successful implementation of GMVs and that overcoming the operational and financial obstacles to offering GMVs is necessary before they can be promoted as essential elements in a patient-centered medical home.

Chronic Illness

We are in the planning stages of comparing health coaching to patients with multiple chronic illnesses by telephone or by in-clinic visits. Given the prevalence of patients with multiple health problems, it will be important to provide the best access to care to patients where mobility may be a challenge.


The UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine is committed to contributing to the growing body of scientific research in the field of integrative health. Our scientists focus on evaluating integrative treatments that address multiple, whole-person aspects of wellness—biological, psychological, social and spiritual. To further support this burgeoning field, the Center’s research team has created a system to collect and analyze data derived from our clinical efforts in order to study the real-world patterns and outcomes of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) use and support evidence-based integration into practice and care.