Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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The American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association® Issue 2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

Jul 28, 2017

ARLINGTON, Va. (July 28, 2017) — Diabetes is a highly complex disease that requires continuous daily care to effectively manage blood glucose levels and to help reduce and avoid deadly and costly complications. Therefore, diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES), is a vital component of care for all people with diabetes, as well as for people who are at risk for developing diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent estimates, 30.3 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes—23.1 million people with diagnosed diabetes and another 7.2 million people who are believed to be living with undiagnosed diabetes—and 84 million people are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes[1]. The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are publishing the “2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support” (Standards). The detailed recommendations, which are updated regularly, will be published online on July 28, 2017, and in the September 2017 issues The Diabetes Educator and Diabetes Care.

DSMES focuses on the ongoing process of providing patients and caregivers with the knowledge, skills and abilities that are necessary for prediabetes and diabetes self-care. Additionally, DSMES includes activities that assist a person with diabetes in implementing and sustaining the behaviors needed to manage his or her condition on an ongoing basis. The Standards outline and define evidence-based, specific guidelines to help diabetes educators and medical providers establish and sustain patient care models, programs and teams for people with diabetes and their caregivers.

The Standards were last updated in 2012 with diabetes self-management support and diabetes self-management education outlined separately. The 2017 revision of the Standards is the first to combine support and education to reflect the value of ongoing counsel for improved diabetes self-care.

“The revised Standards reflect a shift in the health care landscape toward an outcomes-based model of care that goes beyond in-person education,” said AADE Vice President of Science and Practice Leslie Kolb. “The quality of education and support the person with diabetes receives is in direct correlation to how well they are able to self-manage the disease outside of time spent with a diabetes educator or other health care professional. With so many new technology-enabled models of care entering the practice setting, it is important that we set care guidelines so those affected with diabetes benefit the most.”

The 2017 Standards Revision Task Force consists of 22 diabetes educators who are experts from numerous health care professional disciplines—including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and registered dietitians. The group based the Standards upon an extensive body of literature of more than 180 research studies.

“In order to reduce the devastating complications of diabetes, individuals with diabetes need to adequately control blood glucose, along with other associated risk factors such as lipid disorders and hypertension. Thus, the person with diabetes is responsible for daily management of this chronic condition, which involves adequate nutrition and regular physical activity, as well as adjusting medication dosages and monitoring blood glucose,” said Association Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “The National Standards for DSMES recognize that the person with diabetes is actually the center of the health care team, since it is estimated that a person with diabetes visits his or her primary care provider, on average, only four times a year. Therefore, it is critical that we support people with diabetes and their caregivers with the appropriate self-management guidance, education and tools to improve patient outcomes and prevent or delay the many serious complications that can accompany diabetes.”

The Standards outline recommendations for care and education programs’ internal structure, team members and curriculum. They also emphasize the importance of such programs by evaluating the populations they serve and developing individualized care plans for patients. Other key components highlighted in the Standards include the necessity of offering ongoing patient support and monitoring patient progress. The Standards supply recommendations and guidelines that are applicable to providers in small, solo practices, as well as those in large, multi-center facilities; care coordination programs; population health programs; and technology-enabled models of care.

The complete Standards will be published online in  in The Diabetes Educator at and Diabetes Care at on Friday, July 28, 2017.

About The Diabetes Educator
The Diabetes Educator is a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal that serves as a reference source for the science and art of diabetes management. The Diabetes Educator publishes original articles on patient care and education, clinical practice and/or research, and the multidisciplinary profession of diabetes education as represented by nurses, dietitians, physicians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, podiatrists, and exercise physiologists.

About Diabetes Care®
Diabetes Care is a monthly journal of the American Diabetes Association dedicated to increasing knowledge, stimulating research, and promoting better health care for people with diabetes. To achieve these goals, the journal publishes original articles on human studies in the following categories: clinical care, education and nutrition; epidemiology, health services; and psychosocial research; emerging treatments and technologies; and pathophysiology and complications. The journal also publishes the Association’s recommendations and statements, clinically relevant review articles, editorials and commentaries. Topics covered are of interest to clinically oriented physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, psychologists, diabetes educators and other health professionals. Diabetes Care is the highest-ranked, peer-reviewed journal in the field of diabetes treatment and prevention.

About the American Association of Diabetes Educators 
AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 14,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners working with people who have, are affected by or are at risk for diabetes. Learn more at, or visit us on Facebook (American Association of Diabetes Educators), Twitter (@AADEdiabetes) and Instagram (@AADEdiabetes).

About the American Diabetes Association
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and every 21 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).

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[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States [Internet]. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2017. Available from

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