Self Management Education (DSME): basis of good diabetes care

DSME stands for ‘Diabetic Self Management Education’, which is advocated by the world’s expert agencies on diabetes care such as ADA, IDF etc.  The principle behind DSME is that empowerment of the diabetic patient leads to better control of diabetes, happier patients and overall better diabetes care

What does empowering the patient means?  It means giving the patient education to manage their disease well by understanding her disease and her treatment plan both. It also means that the patient actively anticipates problems in sticking to the plan and makes a mitigation strategy with the help of the doctor

The ‘ADA-Standard Of Care 2015’ document reports :

“Multiple studies have found that DSME is associated with improved diabetes knowledge, improved self-care behavior , improved clinical outcomes, such as lower A1C , lower self-reported weight , improved quality of life , healthy coping , and lower costs and better life experiences of the person with diabetes”

The essential parts of DSME are the following:

  1. Diabetes Education: a diabetic should know all practical aspects of disease including its basic pathology/ problem cause, its complications, periodic health checks needed to detect these complications, target levels for good control of risk factors
  2. Informed decision making: the patient should be a partner in deciding the therapy and lifestyle management for the disease. Patient should know what each drug is aimed at so that they continue taking them and not drop out. Eg. whether to start insulin, cholesterol lowering drugs etc.
  3. Goal setting: a diabetic patient should partner with the doctor  in defining their target levels of HbA1c, weight etc.
  4. Monitoring: the diabetic person should be in charge of their  glucometer monitoring,  diet and exercise tracking and timely health check-ups
  5. Problem solving: the patient and health worker should discuss  problems which may keep her from sticking to the treatment plan. These would include:  illness, travel, work issues etc. The doctor and the patient should arrive at a solution as a team for these
  6. Reducing risks: the diabetics should have a regular health check and follow up plan to keep risks in check
  7. Taking medication: this should not be compromised in the zeal to manage the disease by lifestyle only!
  8. Healthy coping: Diabetes often leads to stress, depression and even anger in patients and takes away  enjoyment of life. Therefore it is important to discuss these with your doctor and get help to cope better

Once you become knowledgeable about your diabetes, your will feel much less burdened by the disease. So, become an active participant in your diabetes care with DSME now!

CHECK OUT: Our references for diabetes mellitus