What is The Diabetes Self Management Program (DSMP)?

The Diabetes Self Management Program (DSMP) is a community course for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

The small group courses are 6 weeks long, meeting once a week for 2 hours 30 minutes, and are led by at least one peer leader with diabetes. The sessions are highly interactive, focusing on building skills, sharing experiences and support. The course teaches the life skills needed in the day-to-day management of chronic pain and to embrace life's opportunities.

Subjects covered in DSMP include:

  • Techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, 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 make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program.

Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the reference book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions.


Organisations wanting to offer DSMP courses need a minimum of two course Leaders and a mutiple program license from Stanford University. For organisations to have their own in-house training capacity require two Master Trainers are required. For more information about licensing requirements, please Contact Us or see http://patienteducation.stanford.edu/licensing/

People wanting to be trained in Diabetes Self Management Program must first undertake CDSMP training as this provides the necessary foundational skills. Cross Trainings in the Diabetes Program takes 2 days.


The original diabetes self-management program was developed in Spanish. After successful outcomes were found with that program, the Stanford Patient Education Research Center received a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation for the randomised, controlled study to test the workshop's effectiveness for English-speakers.

Results have showed that the program participants, as compared with usual-care control subjects, demonstrated improved health status, health behaviour, and self-efficacy, as well as fewer emergency room visits at four months. At one year, the improvements were maintained and remained significantly different from baseline condition.


Lorig K, Ritter P, Villa F, & Armas, J, Community-Based Peer-Led Diabetes Self-management: A Randomized Trial. The Diabetes Educator 35; 641, 2009

Contact Us and we can email you a copy of the full paper.