Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP)

Workshops are highly participatory. Mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.  Each participant is guided to tailor the workshop content to their own needs.

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  • Small group workshop offered either face-to-face or virtually for 2 1/2 hours once a week for six weeks
  • Small group workshop specifically for the workplace, offered either face-to-face or virtually, 1 hour twice a week for six weeks
  • Mailed Tool Kit of materials with or without 6 weekly scripted 45-60-minute minute small group (3-5 people) phone calls 
  • Asynchronous 6-week internet program Better Choices Better Health available in the North America through Canary Peers and in Europe from Vively.


People with any physical or mental chronic condition or multiple chronic conditions

  • 12-16 participants per face-to-face workshop 
  • 8-12 participants per virtual workshop
  • 3-5 participants per Tool Kit with scripted phone calls workshop 

Workshop Leaders

  • 2 trained Leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic condition themselves, for both in person and virtual workshops  
  • 1 trained Leader for Tool Kit with small group phone calls workshops
  • Must be trained by SMRC-certified Master Trainers

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The program does not conflict with existing programs or treatment. Treatment is not altered. For all medical questions, participants are referred to their physicians or other health professionals on their health care team. 

How were the programs developed?

The programs were developed based on focus groups with potential participants, reviewing professional organizational standards and national standards for such areas as exercise, and nutrition. We combined these inputs with processes to increase self-efficacy and to allow participants to self-tailor the workshops to their own needs.  In addition, many methods from cognitive behavioral therapy are included.

How can my facility offer the Program?

All agencies must have at a minimum:

Workshop Topics

Techniques to deal with symptoms of chronic conditions, such as fatigue, pain, sleeplessness, shortness of breath, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear, and frustration

Physicians, registered dietitians, occupational and physical therapists, and other health professionals have reviewed all workshop materials. Workshop was last updated in 2020.

Topics include:

  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance
  • Falls prevention
  • Healthy eating 
  • Better breathing techniques
  • Appropriate use of medication
  • Working more effectively with health care providers
  • Communicating with friends and family
  • Communicating with oneself
  • Communicating with the health care system
  • Action-planning, problem-solving, decision-making

Participant Materials

Language Options

  • Tomando control de su salud (Spanish CDSMP)  
  • Spanish Tool Kits are available
  • Additional Leader’s Manual translations available for 2020 CDSMP: Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Hong Kong with elderly adaptation).
  • Leader’s Manual translations available for 2012 CDSMP: Arabic, Creole (Haitian), Danish, Finnish, French Canadian, Hebrew (with stroke adaptation), Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Maori, Russian, Samoan, Tongan, Vietnamese

See the bibliography for articles about the Chronic Disease Self-Management and Tomando control de su salud programs

The CDSMP is considered an evidence-based program by the Administration for Community Living and the Centers for Disease Control Arthritis Branch.

Contact us for more information

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