Diabetes Self-Management

The Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) focuses on problems and concerns common to people suffering from diabetes. It provides the tools to manage the impact Diabetes has on their lives, emotions and health. The original Diabetes Self-Management Program was developed in Spanish and in 2008 it was adapted to English by the Stanford Patient Education Research Center.


Six months after the workshop, participants had significant improvements in depression, symptoms of hypoglycemia, communication with physicians, healthy eating and reading food labels. There were also improvements in patient activation and self-efficacy. At 12 months, DSMT participants continued to demonstrate improvements in depression, communication with physicians, healthy eating, patient activation and self-efficacy.  Learn more

DSMT is taught by trained community health educators for 2.5 hours a week for six weeks in community-based sites. Each session provides participants with different topics, including:

  1. Techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear and frustration.
  2. Appropriate exercises for maintaining and improving strength and endurance.
  3. Healthy eating
  4. Appropriate use of medication and
  5. Working more effectively with health care providers.

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) provides National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Training programs. This ensures that the self-management programs offer high-quality, evidence-based diabetes education and support. The focus is to support informed decision-making, self-management behaviors, problem solving and active collaboration from older adults with the health care team and improve clinical outcomes, health status and quality of life.  Learn more

DSMT in other Languages:

  • Spanish: DSMT is available in Spanish and it is called ‘Manejo de la Diabetes’, trained Spanish-speaking community health educators impart the workshop with the necessary translated material.  Learn more

For more information visit the Stanford University Diabetes Self-Management Program.