Over the past several decades, Nurse Practitioners have become major contributors to improvements in quality of care provided to people with diabetes through diabetes self-management education (DSME). DSME is an evidence-based intervention that facilitates the knowledge and skills of people with diabetes to optimize their ability to self-manage the disease. According to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), DSME is defined as “a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions.”1 DSME curricula can engage participants in informed decision-making and reinforces self-care, problem-solving behaviors, and a collaborative approach with their healthcare providers to improve clinical outcomes. DSME includes: healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping, and reducing risks.2,3
Nurse Practitioners are skilled in practicing health care that accounts for the whole person, including not only medications but also all aspects of lifestyle. Along with your conventional role in adjusting diabetes medications, ordering diagnostic tests, and referring patients to ancillary care, your delivery of basic DSME has the potential to improve patient wellbeing and—ultimately—outcomes.
Engaging patients in their own care means providing them with education as well as tools they can use to keep all aspects of their care organized, including when to test their blood sugar, take their medications, and schedule physical activity.
This resource will provide you with a set of tools designed to help your patients stay engaged in all aspects of their diabetes self-management, including daily planners, tracking tools, and other educational and motivational resources. Each downloadable tool is available in English and Spanish so you can share the most appropriate version with your patients.