Press Release

Diabetes Education Cost-Effective Therapy: Journal

For Release March 16, 2009

Chris Martin, 630.670.2745,
Diana Pihos, 312.601.4864,

CHICAGO-- Health care policy makers mulling health care reform efforts would do well to read a new study that shows diabetes education programs are cost effective models for treating diabetes.  The study is published in the January/February issue of The Diabetes Educator, the journal of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

In 2006, the United States spent $2 trillion on health care and 85 percent of that was spent to care for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes.  Diabetes affects 7 percent of Americans and represents more than $116 billion of these costs.

The study consisted of an analysis of 26 studies published between 1991 and 2006 on cost effectiveness of diabetes education.  The researchers found that the benefits associated with education on self-management and lifestyle modification for people with diabetes is positive and outweighs the costs associated with the intervention.

Diabetes education, also known as diabetes self-management training (DSMT), 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.  Diabetes educators are health care professionals who focus on helping people with and at risk for diabetes and related conditions achieve behavior change goals that, in turn, lead to better clinical outcomes and improved health status.

Researchers from the University of Missouri, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital and the American Association of Diabetes Educators conducted the study. 

The authors report that diabetes education is effective in helping people with diabetes control their illness and maximize their health.  However, even among those providing diabetes self-management education and training, the studies that demonstrate this are not well known.

“Diabetes education reduces costs because it is guided by the best available science-based evidence; incorporates the needs, goals and life experience of the person with or at risk of diabetes and supports the work of health care providers who treat these patients,” the authors concluded.

Link to the article

About the AADE:
Founded in 1973, AADE was created by and for diabetes educators.

We are dedicated to providing our members with the tools, training and support necessary to help patients change their behavior and accomplish their diabetes self-management goals.

As a multidisciplinary professional association, AADE represents and supports the diabetes educator by providing members the resources to stay abreast of the current research, methods and trends in the field and by offering opportunities to network and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

AADE is constantly working towards our vision of successful self-management for all people with diabetes and related conditions.