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Diabetes Self-Management Program
Release Date: December 11, 2012

Diabetes Self-Management is presented in six weekly, 2 1/2 hour sessions. Each session has five to eight different activities that include action planning for wellness, brainstorming ideas on common challenges and problem solving.

Diabetes Self-Management Program

(Newton, NJ) The Sussex County Department of Human Service, Division of Senior Services is pleased to promote the Stanford University model of the Diabetes Self -Management program for adults of all ages. The Diabetes Self-Management Program is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program created at Stanford University's Patient Education Research Center. The program was initially created in Spanish and after a successful pilot and positive outcomes, the Stanford Patient Education Research Center received a grant from the California Health Care Foundation to pilot the workshop's effectiveness in English. This study was completed in 2008 and after the study was completed, it was found that participants were able to increase their self-efficacy, health status, health behaviors and that after a four month period, participants experienced fewer emergency room visits. At the one year mark, participants maintained or decreased this baseline significantly.

Stanford's Chronic Disease Self Management Programs are available in 46 U.S. States and in 17 countries. The Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services presented the first Diabetes Self-Management Program in Sussex County in 2010. After the success of the first workshop, two County employees took the course curriculum to become Master Trainers on behalf of the Department in order to not only present the program to participants but to also train professionals and lay persons, known as Peer Leaders, to bring this program to the community.

There are three main assumptions for Stanford University's evidenced based programs. The first is that people with diabetes must not only deal with this chronic condition, but also cope with how this disease affects their lives and emotions. The second assumption is that this program can be taught as effectively, if not more effectively, with non-health professionals than with health professionals. And lastly, the way the programs are taught is as important, if not more important, than the curriculum being taught. Diabetes -Self Management is presented in six weekly, 2 ½ hour sessions. Each session has five to eight different activities that include action planning for wellness, brainstorming ideas on common challenges and problem solving. Topics that are discussed include dealing with difficult emotions, reading nutrition labels, as well as guided imagery and techniques for relaxation and preventing or delaying complications from the disease. The workshops allow participants to choose their own goals and track their progress from week to week. In addition to the curriculum, each participant is given a companion text called "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions."

Diabetes Self-Management workshops are offered at numerous sites in Sussex County. For additional information or to register for one of the classes, please contact The Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services at 973-579-0555 ext. 1281 or via email at seniorservices@sussex.nj.us.

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