Empowering People with Diabetes to Access DSMES

Lending a helping hand.

Diabetes care and education specialists and others can ask people with diabetes if their health care provider has talked with them about DSMES and, if not, encourage them to ask their provider for a DSMES referral. Helping people find a local program through the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists or the American Diabetes Association is a simple way to encourage participation. Asking about and addressing potential barriers is another way to promote DSMES services. See Overcoming Barriers to Referral and Treatment  for more detailed information.

People who have the knowledge and support to manage their diabetes are healthier than those who do not. People who receive DSMES services will learn how and when to take their medication, how to monitor blood glucose, and much more. This information helps them manage their diabetes better, which can help them avoid or delay complications and improve their quality of life.

Explanations of DSMES to people with diabetes can emphasize the benefits of these services. The DSMES Promotion Playbook offers a plain language description of DSMES services. For example, DSMES services will help them:

  • Make better decisions about their diabetes.
  • Work with their health care team to get the support they need.
  • Understand how to take care of themselves and learn the skills to:
    • Eat healthy.
    • Be active.
    • Check their blood sugar (glucose).
    • Take medicines as prescribed.
    • Solve problems.
    • Cope with the emotional side of diabetes.
    • Reduce the risk of other health problems.

For more information, visit CDC’s DSMES Services site.