National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support
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 (2–6) 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.
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