Self-management activities in diabetes care: a systematic review

Aust Health Rev. 2013 Sep;37(4):513-22. doi: 10.1071/AH13060.


Objective: To identify the range of self-management activities people diagnosed with diabetes engage in to manage their disease, the frequency of use, and whether self-management practices change over time.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was undertaken. Thirty-two studies identified through electronic databases met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review.

Results: The study found that people living with diabetes undertake regular self-management activities and that compliance with medication regimes is high. Adherence, however, varied with respect to blood glucose testing, diet, physical activity and foot care. Levels of physical activity were not found to change over time. Evidence suggests that some people with diabetes modify their self-management practices in response to factors such as holidays.

Conclusions: The review suggests that the majority of people with diabetes self-manage, although there is variation in adherence to key self-management activities. How self-management practices change over time and whether this impacts on health outcomes is an area for future research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*