Diabetes Literacy

Seventh Framework Programme European Commission

Policy Briefing on DSME status and costs


    The Diabetes Literacy published its first policy briefing. The focus is on the status and cost of diabetes self-management education in Europe. The second policy briefing will focus on the effectiveness of diabetes self-management education and the role of health literacy. These briefings are based on the results of the Diabetes Literacy project, and on discussions in policy dialogues at the 18th European Health Forum Gastein 2015 and the 23rd World Diabetes Congress 2015.




    Policy recommendations about the status of diabetes self-management programmes (DSME) in the EU Members States inckude the result that Europe has a wide variety of DSM programmes available, but this programmes are not equally distributed in the population and across countries and do not reach all the target groups. We recommend adapting programmes to implement empowerment strategies for self-management. Ensuring follow-up will contribute to improving the quality of programmes. Improving the training of healthcare providers of programmes in behavioural and psychpsocial expertise is needed. There are variations in costs on the delivery of DSME programmes both within and between countries. However compared to other elements of standard care, DSME is rather cheap. The Diabetes Literacy project found economic evidence to support the finding that early intervention in primary and community care prevents the progression of diabetes and the associated escalation of costs. 


    Main messages


    The Diabetes Literacy project shows that there is a window of opportunity in Europe to empower patients to take up successful diabetes self-management. Education in self-management is a crucial factor in this. A wide variety of DSME programmes is available in Europe. However the quality and effectiveness of existing education programmes should be improved by: tailoring education to the target groups; looking at conditions and components that will make the programmes more effective; developing wider perspectives in IT-based education; improving the training of programme providers, and using patient-level costing to demonstrate cost effectiveness

    Read or download the policy briefing "Diabetes self-management education and costs in the European Union"