Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
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Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

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Developed by: Stanford University
Program Administrator: Kate Lorig
Year Program First Implemented: Early 1990’s


The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and how their health problems affect their lives. Small-group, highly interactive workshops are six weeks long, meeting once a week for 2 ½ hours, and are facilitated by a pair of leaders one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic diseases themselves.

Supporting Evidence:

Over 1,000 people with heart disease, lung disease, stroke, or arthritis participated in a randomized, controlled trial of CDSMP, and were followed for up to three years.

Subjects that participated in CDSMP, compared to those that did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was also a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations. These data yield a cost to savings ratio of approximately 1:4. Many of these results persist for as long as three years.


Lorig KR, Sobel DS, Stewart AL, Brown BW, Bandura A, Ritter P, Gonzalez VM, Laurent DD, Holman HR. Evidence Suggesting That a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Can Improve Health Status While Reducing Hospitalization: A Randomized Trial. Medical Care. (Jan 1999) 37 (1): 5-14. [Online]:

Lorig KR, Sobel DS, Ritter PL, Laurent D, Hobbs M. Effect of a self-management program on patients with chronic disease. Eff Clin Practi. (Nov-Dec 2001) 4 (6):256-62. [Online]:

Lorig KR, Ritter P, Stewart AL, Sobel DS, Brown BW Jr, Bandura A, Gonzalez VM, Laurent DD, Holman HR. Chronic disease self-management program: 2-year health status and health care utilization outcomes. Med Care. (Nov 2001) 39 (11):1217-23. [Online]:


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