Participants (n = 165) entering a week-long outpatient education program completed a protocol measuring self-care patterns, glycosylated hemoglobin levels, and emotional well-being. Emotional well-being was reassessed at the end of the program, and the entire protocol was completed again at 6 mo (n = 124). At the program's end, participants improved on all measures of emotional well-being (P < .01). Self-esteem and diabetes self-efficacy rose, whereas anxiety and depression fell. At 6 mo, improvement in emotional well-being continued, and important self-care behaviors improved from preprogram levels. Self-monitoring of blood glucose and exercise rose (both P < .001), and binging (P < .01) and glycosylated hemoglobin levels (P < .001) fell. Program effects were unrelated to demographic or disease characteristics but strongly related to initial status. Participants who entered the program with high levels of emotional well-being or good self-care patterns or glycemic control tended to change little, if at all, at later measurements. On the other hand, people who entered the program with low levels of emotional well-being or with poor self-care patterns or glycemic control improved substantially. Our findings suggest that diabetes education can promote long-term benefits in self-care, metabolic control, and emotional status if the program is specifically designed to provide these benefits. Aspects of the program that contribute to its efficacy are discussed.

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