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Chronic Disease Self Management - For Participants

If you are a provider of services, rather than an individual seeking information about this program, please visit our CDSMP Provider page.

You Can! Live Well Virginia!

I had Hypertension. The big word is had. After taking the workshop I have since lost 25 pounds. I began exercising and eating healthier. After losing the weight along with proper nutrition and exercise I have been able to get off my blood pressure medicine and my blood pressure now runs about 130/70. I feel great and have a lot more energy.  --Participant from Marion, Virginia

Older adults and people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by chronic illness. According to the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, almost 91% of older adults live with at least one chronic condition and almost 75% have at least two.  In a 30-day period, people with disabilities experience an average of nine days of restricted activity due to health challenges, more than four times the rate of their counterparts without a disability

Through the You Can! Live Well, Virginia! Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) programs, individuals coping with chronic diseases can take steps to improve their overall health, feel better, and live life to the fullest.  The core CDSME program is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP).

Developed by Stanford University, CDSMP is a six week, 2.5 hour workshop that offers tools and information to help people manage their chronic illnesses and participate more fully in life.  There is strong evidence across many studies that CDSMP participants experience several beneficial health outcomes, including greater energy, increased participation in physical activity, improved health status, reduced pain symptoms, and improved psychological well-being.  Participants also report enhanced communication and partnerships with physicians and greater confidence that they can take actions to affect their own health.

Long-term, CDSMP has been shown to reduce healthcare costs by decreasing the number of emergency room visits, the number of hospital admissions, and hospital length of stay.

Through this supportive interactive workshop, often led by others with chronic conditions, participants learn about a variety of topics, such as 

Most importantly, participants help each other through brainstorming and problem-solving as they develop weekly achievable action plans. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Three related workshops are also available in some areas.  The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) offers techniques to deal with diabetes symptoms such as fatigue, pain and emotional issues; healthy eating and exercise choices; appropriate use of medications; and working effectively with healthcare providers.

Tomando Control de su Salud, in Spanish, covers the same general topics as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and is presented in ways that are culturally appropriate.  Programa Manejo Personal de la Diabetes is also in Spanish and covers the same topics as DSMP.

Thanks to a grant from the Administration on Community Living, the workshops are offered free of charge in several areas of Virginia. For more information contact April Holmes, Coordinator of Prevention Programs (contact info below)

Put Life Back in Your Life!

Contact one of these participating Area Agencies on Aging to find the next workshop near you. Visit VDA's "Find Services" page if you're not certain which Area Agency on Aging serves your locality, or click here for local details and email contacts.

State Contact

April Holmes
Coordinator of Prevention Programs
Phone: (804) 662-7631


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Copyright © 2007, All Rights Reserved
Virginia Division for the Aging
of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
1610 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Henrico, VA 23229
Phone (local): (804) 662-9333, Toll Free 1-800-552-3402 (Nationwide)
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the free Va Relay telephone relay service by dialing 7-1-1.
FAX: (804) 662-9354
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