Diabetes Self-Management Education

Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) programs are programs that assist the participant in achieving better blood glucose control by self-managing their diabetes through knowledge, skill, and their thinking regarding life choices. DSME is a crucial part of blood glucose control.  Through DSME programs the participant will learn the knowledge and skills they need to keep their diabetes under control. 

DSME Programs

These programs can go by many names and they consists of 7 self-management behaviors:

  1. Healthy eating- Making healthy food choices and portion sizes.
  2. Being active- Having daily physical activity is important for overall fitness, weight management, and blood glucose control.
  3. Monitoring blood glucose levels- Daily monitoring can assist the individual on adjustments they may need to make to have better control over their diabetes and lower their risk of complications.
  4. Problem Solving-  Problem solving is crucial to the management of blood glucose levels by being able to make changes to daily activities regulate blood glucose levels
  5. Taking medications as prescribed-  Effective drug therapy and taking medications correctly can reduce the risk of developing complications as well as elevated blood glucose levels
  6. Coping in a healthy way- Coping with diabetes is sometimes difficult and can make self-management harder for the individual.
  7. Reducing risks of developing complications-Risk reduction behavior such as regular eye, foot, and dental examinations and regular blood glucose monitoring as well as smoking cessation can reduce the risk of complication development.

By making these 7 behavior changes the participant will have a greater chance of controlling their diabetes. During the education course the participants are taught how to problem solve, make informed decisions, and reinforce self-care.  After the course is completed the participant will be able to play an active role in their management of this disease.  

Find a Diabetes Self-Management Education Program

For a list of American Diabetes Association Accredited Diabetes Self-Management Programs, visit ADA Recognized Education Programs.

Page last updated 6/15/23