Key Takeaways

  • The National Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) Database, housed in the Center for Healthy Aging, was established in 2010 through support from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). 

  • The database receives information from active ACL Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) CDSME grantees, former grantees, and other organizations interested in tracking data for their evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs.

The database is built on the Salesforce platform, and tracks data from host organizations, implementation sites, and participants of the 26 programs listed below. The database can accommodate any recognized health promotion evidence-based program.

Most are small group (10-15 individuals), workshop-based programs offered in locations such as senior centers, area agencies on aging, churches, libraries, hospitals, and other community-based settings. Some programs are one-on-one (e.g., HomeMeds, PEARLS) or self-directed (e.g. Tool Kit for Active Living with Chronic Conditions). The Database offers powerful data visualizations using Power BI to track program activity, assess demographic reach, compare local performance against national averages, export data, and examine differences by partner sites, program type, and region.

Programs Caputred in the Database

Active Living Every Day Health Coaches for Hypertension Control
Arhtritis Foundation Aquatic Program Healthy IDEAS
Arthritis Self-Management Program HomeMeds
Better Choices, Better Health Positive Self-Management Program
Camine Con Gusto (Self-directed) Programa de Manejo Personal de la Diabetes
Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Tomando Control de su Salud
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program PEARLS
Chronic Pain Self-Management Program Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
Diabetes Self-Management Program Toolkit for Active Living with Chronic Conditions
EnhanceFitness Walk With Ease (in-person)
EnhanceWellness Walk With Ease (Self-directed)
Fit & Strong! Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Geri-Fit Strength Training Workout for Older Adult Workplace Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

As of May 2021, the Database is in wide use by many networks, or grantees, representing groups or organizations working collectively to deliver evidence-based programs.   

Program workshops entered in the database represent virtually all U.S. states. Since 2010, a total of 39,778 workshops were entered into the Database.

Data Collected

Data is collected and tracked at the workshop and participant level. Fields available in the database include those approved for inclusion in the required data collection tools for active ACL grantees, as well as optional items added by NCOA in response to users’ requests.

Workshop level data includes program name, languages in which the program is delivered, participant leader information, and location site and type. Organizations can also report on various participant satisfaction items, record the funding source and format (e.g. online, hybrid, in person), and assess overall well-being at baseline and post-test.

  • Participant demographics: Age, gender, living alone, race/ethnicity
  • Health and disability related variables:
    • Limitations due to disabling condition
    • Deaf or blind
    • Self-rated health
    • Caregiving status
    • Confidence managing chronic health conditions
    • Chronic health conditions
    • Provider referral
    • Health insurance
    • Cognitive health

The CDSME data collection tools were revised in December 2019. The table below summarizes the participant data collected as of May 2021, representing 431,808 participants.

  CDSME General Older Adult Population
Average Age 66 years N/A
Female 68% 56%

White (56%)

African-American (19%)

Hispanic (13%)

Asian (5%)

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (<1%)

American Indian (2%)

White (77%)

African-American (9%)

Hispanic (8%)

Asian (4%)

Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander (.1%)

American Indian (.5%)

Education 56% have some college or higher 30%
Caregiver 12% 19%
In Poor or Fair Health 21% 22%
Disability 22% 35%

Two or More Chronic Conditions



Top Chronic Health Conditions

Hypertension (42%)

Arthritis/Rheumatic disease (37%)

Diabetes (35%)

Anxiety/Depression (20%)

Hyperlipidemia (18%)

Heart disease (14%)

Hypertension (58%)

Hyperlipidemia (48%)

Arthritis (31%)

Ischemic heart disease (29%)

Diabetes (27%)

Lives Alone 51% 20%
Referred by Physician 17% N/A
Confidence Managing Chronic Condition After Workshop 8 out of 10 N/A


NCOA regularly mines the database to answer important and timely questions from the Administration for Community Living and others to inform program planning and policy activities. In addition, NCOA partners with research institutions to conduct rigorous research studies to learn more about the reach, impact, and cost-effectiveness of evidence-based programs. Data collected on CDSME program activity have been the source of extensive research and evaluation activity, with findings shared in presentations at professional conferences and peer-reviewed publications. To learn more, visit the research page.

Research partners interested in exploring the data are invited to complete a Data Use Agreement, which requires a description of the research objectives, discussion with CHA staff, and IRB documentation before it is finalized.

Current research projects include examination of the predictors of program completion and overall reach among participants with functional impairment, caregivers, racial/ethnic minorities, rural populations, and participants with various comorbidities. Other special analyses will look at variation in performance and unique challenges of delivering CDSME programs in health care settings, as well as residential settings, such as assisted living facilities and low-income senior housing.