Diabetes Self-Management Program

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Self-Management Research
Diabetes Self-Management Program

The Diabetes Self-Management Program is a lay-led patient education program. This program is led by pairs of trained lay leaders to groups of ten to sixteen people once each week for 2 and ½ hours for six consecutive weeks. Courses are held in community locations such as recreation centres, community centres, schools and churches. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals living with diabetes themselves.

The program includes the following content:
  • techniques to deal with symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycaemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear and frustration
  • appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance;
  • healthy eating
  • appropriate use of medication
  • working more effectively with health care providers. 
Participants will make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program. Physicians and other health professionals both at Stanford and in the community have reviewed all materials in the course. The Canadian version has been reviewed by Certified Diabetes Educators. Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition. It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. The Diabetes Self-Management Program does not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education on diabetes.

Program participants are people living with type 2 diabetes. Family, friends and caregivers are also invited to attend. Participants must be able to function in a group setting and set goals. Program participants are self-referred. Recruitment strategies include a website and toll-free line, brochures, flyers, and posters, newspaper and television advertisements, and presentations to the public.

Program Manuals
The Diabetes Self-Management Program is a standardized program with program manuals for Leaders (facilitators of the six-session workshop), Master Trainers (trainers of leaders), and T-Trainers (trainers of Master Trainers).
Fidelity Standards for Training and Implementation

The Diabetes Self-Management Program follows a structured implementation and intervention model. The evidence-based self management programs previously offered by the Stanford Patient Education Research Center have moved to the Self-Management Resource Center. In 2016, the SMRC published a “Program Fidelity Manual” and “Administration/Implementation Manual” for trainers and administrators. The program is copyrighted by the Self-Management Resource Center (SMRC) and each organization wishing to implement the Diabetes Self-Management Program applies and purchases a license from SMRC. A contract is developed and licensees are obligated to deliver the program in the specified manner with no modifications or additions. For more information, please visit the SMRC website at www.selfmanagementresource.com.

Program’s Evaluation History
  • Lorig K, Ritter PL, Villa FJ, Armas J. Community-based Peer-led Diabetes Self-Management: A Randomized Trial. Diabetes Educator, 35(4):641-51, 2009.
  • Lorig K, Ritter PL, Villa F, Piette JD. Spanish Diabetes Self-Management With and Without Automated Telephone Reinforcement. Diabetes Care, 31(3):408-14, 2008.