Frequently Asked Questions - I am a Health Care Provider

Self-Management is a tool to help patients improve their quality of life while living with one or more chronic conditions. It is evidence-based and can be part of continuum of care.

Furthermore, about half of all Canadians live with one or more chronic conditions. While healthcare professionals take charge of acute conditions, on a daily basis patients manage the symptoms, treatments, emotions, and impact of their chronic conditions. They make lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, or stress management, which are typical self-management health behaviours and can be bolstered in an evidence-based workshop delivered by trained facilitators. 


A Stanford program, take place over six-weeks in sessions that are 2.5 hours in length. The aim is to empower people and are widely considered a best practice in chronic disease self-management. The program is  highly interactive and is based on the following beliefs: 

  1. Belief that people strive for order and control in their lives
  2. Belief that order and control are usually sought within a social context
  3. Belief that given knowledge and structure, people usually make good choices for their own life situation (We can trust them to self-tailor)
  4. Belief that adult learners bring to any new experience all their past experiences and knowledge
  5. Belief that people are experts in their own lives and that no one else has this distinctly individual expertise
  6. Self-management is complex and includes- medical management- role management- emotional management
  7. Belief that the precursor to behavior change is the confidence that one can make that change. Based on this belief, all Stanford Programs are based on Self-Efficacy theory and systematically use this theory throughout the programs to enhance confidence (self-efficacy)
  8. Belief that when assisting with behavior change it is better to make small if imperfect changes rather than to insist on ideal changes
  9. That it is generally easier to add a new activity than to stop or cut down on an activity

In the Toronto Central LHIN region, we offer three types of Stanford programs: 

  1. Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)
  2. Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP)
  3. Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP)


Diabetes Self-Management Workshop is a licensed program from Stanford University's Patient Education Research Center. This program follows a standardized process that has proven to help people learn to better manage the symptoms of living with diabetes.  The program does not conflict with existing programs or treatment. Treatment is not altered. For medical questions, participants are referred to their health care provider.

Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional problems such as depression, anger, fear and frustration; 2) appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance; 3) healthy eating 4) appropriate use of medication; and 5) working more effectively with health care providers.

Participants develop skills such as planning and problem-solving skills and communication skills in addition to learning about healthy living. Doing exercise or sharing general problems or inviting an outside/guest speaker are not part of this program. 


Pep Talk: Diabetes, Healthy Feet & You is the first Peer-led Diabetic foot care program that focuses on preventing foot ulcers. Pep Talk: Diabetes, Healthy Feet & You was developed as a self-management educational workshop program conducted by lay Peer Leaders to empower people living with diabetes to adopt self-management behaviours that can help them prevent diabetic foot ulcers by increasing their knowledge of risk factors and linking them to resources in the diabetes community. The PEP Talk program is unique in that the education component is peer led and there is an establishment of linkages to the diabetes community. It takes place over 2.5 hour and essential foot care information is shared in that time to individuals with diabetes to help address diabetic neuropathy. 
Self-Management support refers to peer-led promotion of healthy behaviour change. Peer support among persons with the same chronic health problem may be especially effective, combining the benefits of both receiving and providing social support. As such, workshops are delivered by peers who can help engender healthy behaviour change in participants. 

As a health care provider, you can learn effective communication skills that promote healthy behaviour change in your patient(s).  To support you, TC SMP offers free workshops developed by the Institute for Health Care Communication-Canada for health care providers with the intended goal of assessing and improving confidence and conviction in engendering self-management behaviour change among patients. For more information, visit our Health Care Provider pages.