National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

  1. on behalf of the 2012 Standards Revision Task Force
  1. From the 1VA Puget Sound Health Care System Hospital and Specialty Medicine, Seattle, Washington; the
  2. 2Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts;
  3. 3Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Medicine, Edmond, Oklahoma; the
  4. 4Western Montana Clinic, Missoula, Montana; the
  5. 5Diabetes Education/Clinical Programs, American Diabetes Association, Alexandria, Virginia; the
  6. 6Center for Healthy North Carolina, Apex, North Carolina;
  7. 7Peers for Progress, American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation and Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
  8. 8Ultracare Endocrine and Diabetes Consultants, Venice, Florida; the
  9. 9Group Health Central Specialty Clinic, Seattle, Washington; the
  10. 10Diabetes Education Accreditation Program, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago, Illinois;
  11. 11On Site Health and Wellness, LLC, Omaha, Nebraska;
  12. 12Endocrinology Associates, Main Medical Plaza, Houston, Texas; the
  13. 13VA Center for Clinical Management Research and the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan;
  14. 14Johnston Memorial Diabetes Care Center, Abingdon, Virginia; the
  15. 15Center for Health Services Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee;
  16. 16Technical Writer, Washington, DC; the
  17. 17Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, ABQ Health Partners, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and
  18. 18MedStar Diabetes Institute/MedStar Health, Washington, DC.
  1. Corresponding authors: Linda Haas, linda.haas{at}, and Melinda Maryniuk, melinda.maryniuk{at}

By the most recent estimates, 18.8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 7 million are believed to be living with undiagnosed diabetes. At the same time, 79 million people are estimated to have blood glucose levels in the range of prediabetes or categories of increased risk for diabetes. Thus, more than 100 million Americans are at risk for developing the devastating complications of diabetes (1).

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is a critical element of care for all people with diabetes and those at risk for developing the disease. It is necessary in order to prevent or delay the complications of diabetes (26) and has elements related to lifestyle changes that are also essential for individuals with prediabetes as part of efforts to prevent the disease (7,8). The National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education are designed to define quality DSME and support and to assist diabetes educators in providing evidence-based education and self-management support. The Standards are applicable to educators in solo practice as well as those in large multicenter programs—and everyone in between. There are many good models for the provision of diabetes education and support. The Standards do not endorse any one approach, but rather seek to delineate the commonalities among effective and excellent self-management education strategies. These are the standards used in the field for recognition and accreditation. They also serve as a guide for nonaccredited and nonrecognized providers and programs.

Because of the dynamic nature of health care and diabetes-related research, the Standards are reviewed and revised approximately every 5 years by key stakeholders and experts within the diabetes education community. In the fall of 2011, a Task Force was jointly convened by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association …

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