Frequently Asked Program Effectiveness Questions

Who developed the Chronic Disease Self-management Program (CDSMP)?

CDSMP was 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 workshop have been medically approved.

How was the Program developed?

The School of Medicine at Stanford University received a government research grant to develop a community-based self-management program that assists people with chronic illnesses. Research was completed in 1996.

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.

What were the results?

Persons in the program compared to those not 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 workshop/programs successful?

Yes. The way the program is taught makes it effective. 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.

How many other chronic disease self-management programs are there?

According to Stanford University, there are 46 other states and 27 countries that have implemented a chronic disease self-management program.