From DSME to DSMS: Developing Empowerment-Based Diabetes Self-Management Support


In Brief

Diabetes education has changed a great deal in recent years. Diabetes self-management education (DSME) programs have become more patient-centered and theoretically based, and there is a greater emphasis on providing ongoing support to sustain the self-management gains made by patients as a result of education. Based on the frameworks of self-determination and autonomy support, empowerment has served as the philosophical basis for diabetes self-management education for more than 15 years. This article describes the evolution of empowerment-based programs from DSME to ongoing diabetes self-management support and provides practical strategies for educators to use in the development of these programs.


  • Martha Mitchell Funnell, MS, RN, CDE, is a research investigator; Tricia S. Tang, PhD, is an assistant professor; and Robert M. Anderson, EdD, is a professor in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Ms. Funnell and Dr. Anderson are also co-directors of the Behavioral, Clinical, and Health Systems Research Core at the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center in Ann Arbor.

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