About the Self Management Programs

The Marshall University Center for Rural Health has a license from Stanford University to develop partnerships for disseminating the Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) and the Diabetes Self Management Program (DSMP).  In WV we call the programs “Help Yourself”.

CDSMP and DSMP were created by Dr. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center and are the best known and most highly regarded self management program for people with chronic conditions. Both programs are built upon three underlying assumptions:

  1. Regardless of the chronic condition, people have similar problems and concerns and face similar challenges;
  2. People can learn the skills needed to better manage their disease and the day to day issues they face;
  3. People who understand and take control of their condition will be healthier and happier.

The programs include six weekly workshops focused on pain management, healthy eating, exercise, medication use, emotional management and communication with clinicians. The DSMP also includes skills and information to help people with diabetes better balance their blood sugar by monitoring and engaging in self management activities.  Participants share practical advice on how to live with their health conditions using action plans and interactive learning. Workshops meet in settings such as clinics, senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. The workshops include people with many different health conditions and are run by a pair of trained leaders who may be professionals or peer leaders who are also living with a chronic condition.

The program has been proven through more than 20 years of development and evidence gathering, supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has been implemented in 43 states and 18 other nations. Download the Review of Findings on Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Outcomes to learn more about CDSMP.