Effectiveness of chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) programs to reduce loneliness

Matthew Lee Smith, Eunice Chen, Christy Ann Lau, Dianne Davis, June W. Simmons, Ashley L. Merianos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: With about half of older adults reporting feelings of loneliness, interventions are needed to improve connectedness among our aging population. The health benefits of Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) programs are well documented, but workshops’ ability to reduce loneliness remains unknown. Methods: Using the Campaign to End Loneliness Measurement Tool, we examined 295 CDSME participants’ loneliness changes before and after the 6-week face-to-face workshops. Statistical analyzes used generalized estimating equations (GEE). Results: On average, participants were age 74.3(±8.9) years and self-reported 3.3(±2.2) chronic conditions. The majority of participants were female (83%) and attended workshops in English (77%). Significant reductions in loneliness scores were observed from baseline to post-workshop (p < 0.001). Discussion: Findings expand our understanding about the benefits of small-group CDSME workshops to reduce loneliness among participants. CDSME workshops may reduce loneliness because of their highly interactive and process-driven format and ability to create bonds between participants with chronic conditions and shared experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChronic Illness
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • aging
  • Chronic disease self-management
  • evaluation
  • intervention
  • loneliness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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