Diabetes self-management education and support has been shown to be cost-effective by reducing hospital admissions and readmissions (10–12), as well as estimated lifetime health care costs related to a lower risk for complications (13). Given that the cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 was reported to be $245 billion (14), DSME/S offers an opportunity to decrease these costs (11,12). It has been projected that one in three individuals will develop type 2 diabetes by 2050 (15). The U.S. health care system will be unable to afford the costs of care unless incidence rates and diabetes-related complications are reduced.
DSME/S improves hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by as much as 1% in people with type 2 diabetes (3,7,16–20). Besides this important reduction, DSME has a positive effect on other clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral aspects of diabetes. DSME/S is reported to reduce the onset and/or advancement of diabetes complications (21,22), to improve quality of life (19,23–26) and lifestyle behaviors such as having a more healthful eating pattern and engaging in regular physical activity (27), to enhance self-efficacy and empowerment (28), to increase healthy coping (29), and to decrease the presence of diabetes-related distress (16,30) and depression (31,32). These improvements clearly reaffirm the importance and value-added benefit of DSME. In addition, better outcomes have been shown to be associated with the amount of time spent with a diabetes educator (3,4,7,11).
Read the position statement - Diabetes Self-management Education and Support in Type 2 Diabetes: A Joint Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Learn about becoming an American Diabetes Association Recognized Education Program