Is diabetes self-management education still the Cinderella of diabetes care?

Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Oct;100(10):1957-1960. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.05.026. Epub 2017 May 17.


This paper reflects on the status of diabetes self-management education (DSME) as a branch of diabetology in Europe and discusses some opportunities for better supporting DSME delivery. DSME (also commonly known as Therapeutic Patient Education) has been evolving as a therapy for diabetes for decades. As a continent, Europe is fortunate to have nurtured many pioneers in DSME, and currently has many experts in the field progressing the knowledge base and striving to improve access to DSME for people with diabetes. While there is a wide variety of DSME programmes being delivered throughout Europe, for most people diabetes education is not truly embedded in routine clinical care, being seen as more of an optional add-on to conventional therapies. In comparison to drugs and devices, DSME lacks investment, and funding for DSME research lags far behind other therapies. The rigour with which forms of DSME are developed and evaluated varies, and there is a lack of European quality standards. To try to address some of these deficiencies, greater pan-European collaboration and leadership is required.

Keywords: Diabetes; Patient education; Self-Management.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Europe
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self-Management*