The patient empowerment approach to diabetes education is intended to enable patients to make informed decisions about their own diabetes care and to be fully responsible members of the health-care team. Facilitating patient empowerment requires a specific set of skills and attitudes on the part of diabetes educators. A professional education program designed to facilitate the acquisition and enhancement of the requisite skills and attitudes was designed, implemented, and evaluated. The program involved adhering to a simulated diabetes care regimen for 3 days followed by a 3-day intensive skills-based workshop. The 23 educators who participated in the first two offerings of this program made significant gains in their counseling skills and demonstrated a positive change in attitude.

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