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Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT)

Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program doctor with patient

What is the Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program?

Diabetes Self-Management Training is an evidence-based standard of care program that incorporates the needs and goals of people with diabetes into a personalized plan that has proven to improve health outcomes.

DSMT Patient Journey

dsmt referral

Step 1

Referral made by clinician.

dsmt scheduling

Step 2

Schedule DSMT initial session (1-1 virtual or in person or group session) with Diabetes Educator.

dsmt first visit

Step 3

Attend Visit: 60-minute virtual or in-person 1-1 consultation or group session. Participants can switch to a different format (1-1, group, video, etc.) after the first visit.
dsmt education

Step 4

Up to 10 hrs of education (individual or group) in the first year following the referral. Patients are eligible for up to 2 hrs of follow up education each year, indefinitely.


DSMT Group Education

clinician with patient

Who is eligible?

Individuals with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes mellitus patients are eligible to participate in the program. A referral will be made by the treating clinician.

Eugene Arnold, M.S., RD/LD/CDE

A Real Patient Story With Leon

By Eugene Arnold, M.S., RD/LD/CDE

This episode features Leon, who tells about his experiences as someone who has had diabetes for many years, and about his own diabetes self-management. Leon speaks with Eugene Arnold, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and the quality coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Program.

For more information, please refer to The Johns Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes.


Criteria Overview

Program ElementDescription
EligibilityHas type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes mellitus
* Prediabetes is not covered
Service ProvidersCertified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Care Delivery MethodIn-person and telemedicine individual appointments, small group sessions (4-8 people)
Curriculum TopicsDisease process, nutrition, physical activity, glucose monitoring, acute and chronic complication management, behavior change counseling
OversightAmerican Diabetes Association (ADA)

*Note: People with prediabetes are not eligible and should be referred to our Diabetes Prevention Program

What are the benefits of DSMT?

DSMT can:

  • Improve hemoglobin A1c levels 
  • Improve control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels 
  • Improve medication adherence 
  • Decrease severe diabetes-related complications
  • Increase healthier lifestyle behaviors, such as better nutrition, increased physical activity, and use of primary care and preventive services 
  • Enhance self-efficacy 
  • Decrease health care costs, including fewer hospital admissions and readmissions

Critical times to enroll in DSMT include:

  • At diagnosis
  • At least once per year
  • When complicating factors arise (physical, financial, emotional)
  • When transitions in care occur (new insurance, living situation)

What does DSMT offer?

Program topics covered include:

  • Practical and relevant nutrition guidance
  • Exercise and Type 1 diabetes
  • Weight loss with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Medications to help manage Type 2 diabetes
  • How to monitor, interpret and manage your glucose levels
  • Continuous glucose monitoring services
  • Insulin pump education and optimization
  • Healthy coping skills
  • Preventing and managing diabetes related complications

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