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These materials were originally developed under the direction of the Patient Education Committee of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC) and were edited for their first publication in 1984. The second and third editions were published in 1987 and 1991 by the Michigan DRTC. Since 1997, these outlines have been published and distributed by the American Diabetes Association. This sixth edition was revised to include current clinical, behavioral, and psychosocial content, skills, and strategies. It is consistent with the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) and can be used when applying for recognition from the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Program.

In the 36 years since the first publication of this resource, advances in diabetes care and education have continued. The technological and other advances that have been made in the care and treatment of this devastating disease and its complications offer great benefit and hope. Equally impressive are the changes that have been made in how we view, communicate, and provide education and ongoing support for people with diabetes and their families.

The purpose of diabetes education is not just to provide knowledge about diabetes, but also to help people with diabetes better understand themselves and to make informed choices about how they will live with diabetes, and then how to sustain those decisions, behaviors, and strategies. Beginning as early as 1984, and with each revision, we have made these materials more patient-centered, reflecting the empowerment philosophy that has been studied and disseminated by our Center, including by Bob Anderson, EdD, and our colleagues around the country and the world. The significance of the psychosocial aspects of diabetes, the impact of emotions on behavior, and the language we use has been increasingly recognized in recent years. As a result, we have incorporated psychosocial issues as well as behavioral and communication strategies into each of the outlines so that the instructors can better facilitate participants to integrate diabetes care into their lives.

In my many years as a nurse and a diabetes educator, I have believed and continue to believe that being a diabetes educator is the best job in the world. We have the opportunity to bring help and hope and to help our patients live with this burdensome disease more effectively and peacefully. I hope that you will find these materials useful in your practice and in your work as you bring caring, compassion, and competence to people with diabetes and prediabetes.

  • Martha Mitchell Funnell, MS, RN, CDCSE, FADCSE, FAAN

    University of Michigan Medical School

    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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