About Better Choices, Better Health® SD

Chronic disease affects quality of life, has a huge economic impact, and increases the need for healthcare services. BCBH SD is a community-led evidence-based program modeled after Stanford University’s chronic disease self-management program and is supported by the South Dakota Department of Health, SDSU Extension Services, and the South Dakota Department of Human Services.

How was the program developed?
Chronic Disease Self Management Education Programs were developed and tested in a randomized, controlled trial by the Patient Education Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. All components of the workshops have been medically approved. Stanford received a government research grant to develop community-based self-management education programs that assist people with chronic illnesses. Research was completed in 1996. For a more in-depth history of these programs, visit the Self Management Resource Center.

How was the program evaluated?
Over 1,000 people with heart disease, lung disease, stroke or arthritis participated in a randomized, controlled test of the program, and they were followed for up to 3 years. Changes were observed in health status, health care, self-efficacy, and self-management behaviors. The Self-Management Resource Center’s bibliography includes 30 years of published evidenced-based research on chronic disease self-management education programs.

What were the results?

People in the program showed significant improvements in:

  • Exercise
  • Cognitive symptom management
  • Communication with physicians
  • Self-reported general health
  • Health distress
  • Fatigue
  • Disability
  • Social/role activities limitations
  • The number of days in the hospital
  • The number of outpatient visits

Are chronic disease self-management education programs successful?
Yes! The way the program is taught makes it effective. Program workshops are highly effective when facilitated by community members with chronic conditions. Classes are very participative, where mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. It’s estimated that for every $1 spent on the program, $10 is saved. Results persist up to three years.

Partners and Sponsors

Delivery of BCBH SD workshops and leader trainings requires a license, offered through the Self-Management Resource Center. The license for the BCBH SD programming is a statewide license and offers four in-person workshop options: CDSMP, DSMP, CPSMP, and wCDSMP. Each workshop or training hosted in SD operates under this (one) centralized license. BCBH SD requires a signed MOA between SDSU Extension, as the license holder, and local organizations that provide BCBH SD programming.

*It is the responsibility of the Master Trainers and Lay Leaders offering the workshops to see that the license is in order before training begins.