National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education

  1. Martha M. Funnell, MS, RN, CDE1,
  2. Tammy L. Brown, MPH, RD, BC-ADM, CDE2,
  3. Belinda P. Childs, ARNP, MN, CDE, BC-ADM3,
  4. Linda B. Haas, PHC, CDE, RN4,
  5. Gwen M. Hosey, MS, ARNP, CDE5,
  6. Brian Jensen, RPH6,
  7. Melinda Maryniuk, MED, RD, CDE7,
  8. Mark Peyrot, PHD8,
  9. John D. Piette, PHD910,
  10. Diane Reader, RD, CDE11,
  11. Linda M. Siminerio, PHD, RN, CDE12,
  12. Katie Weinger, EDD, RN7 and
  13. Michael A. Weiss, JD13
  1. 1Department of Medical Education, Diabetes Research and Training Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. 2Indian Health Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  3. 3MidAmerica Diabetes Associates, Wichita, Kansas
  4. 4VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington
  5. 5Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  6. 6Lakeshore Apothacare, Two Rivers, Wisconsin
  7. 7Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  8. 8Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland
  9. 9VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  10. 10Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Research and Training Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  11. 11International Diabetes Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  12. 12Diabetes Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  13. 13Patient Centered Solutions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  1. Corresponding author: Martha M. Funnell, mfunnell{at}

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is a critical element of care for all people with diabetes and is necessary in order to improve patient outcomes. The National Standards for DSME are designed to define quality diabetes self-management education and to assist diabetes educators in a variety of settings to provide evidence-based education. Because of the dynamic nature of health care and diabetes-related research, these Standards are reviewed and revised approximately every 5 years by key organizations and federal agencies within the diabetes education community.

A Task Force was jointly convened by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association in the summer of 2006. Additional organizations that were represented included the American Dietetic Association, the Veteran's Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indian Health Service, and the American Pharmaceutical Association. Members of the Task Force included a person with diabetes; several health services researchers/behaviorists, registered nurses, and registered dietitians; and a pharmacist.

The Task Force was charged with reviewing the current DSME standards for their appropriateness, relevance, and scientific basis. The Standards were then reviewed and revised based on the available evidence and expert consensus. The committee convened on 31 March 2006 and 9 September 2006, and the Standards were approved 25 March 2007.


Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is the ongoing process of facilitating the knowledge, skill, and ability necessary for diabetes self-care. This process incorporates the needs, goals, and life experiences of the person with diabetes and is guided by evidence-based standards. The overall objectives of DSME are to support informed decision-making, self-care behaviors, problem-solving and active collaboration with the health care team and to improve clinical outcomes, health status, and quality of life.


Before the review of the individual Standards, the Task Force identified overriding principles based on existing evidence that would …

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