DOI: 10.2337/db23-116-or ISSN: 0012-1797

116-OR: Changing How We Talk about DSMES—Applying an Audience-Driven Approach

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine

How would you describe diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services to a neighbor? Would they understand and want to learn more? DSMES services are cost-effective and proven to help improve health behaviors and outcomes. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, only 1 million of the more than 37 million adults with diabetes receive DSMES services. Between 2019 and 2021, CDC, the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, the American Diabetes Association, and other partners collaborated on a new approach to talk about and facilitate better understanding of DSMES services. Through application of health marketing best practices, the group developed messaging, including a plain-language description which aims to communicate its value in a common and compelling voice. The multi-phase process was informed by the insights of people with diabetes, diabetes care and education specialists, and other health care providers. Participants were recruited nationally from diverse locations, backgrounds, and levels of experience with diabetes education to participate in focus groups and interviews, an online card sort, and a confirmatory online survey of 500 people in which 70% of people with diabetes surveyed shared that they would be likely to look for more information on DSMES services after seeing the messages, and 84% of health care providers reported they would be likely to use the messages. The process culminated with a pilot project in four varied sites: a network of community clinics, a pharmacy, a state health department, and a Federally Qualified Health Center. Pilot participants shared positive impressions of the content and design of the promotional tools. Next steps are to move from concept to final materials and to launch a digital “playbook” to help guide use of the messages. In this session, presenters will detail the research, offer audience insight data, and highlight next steps.


A.Williams: None. B.Rodriguez: None. K.Pellechia: None.

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