Better Choices, Better Health

Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
in New Hampshire

Better Choices, Better Health

Semiannual Report

Click here to download the report



Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, also known as "Better Choices, Better Health," is a six-week program that runs for 2 ½ hours each week in community settings, senior centers, and physicians offices. People with different chronic health problems attend the program together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals (referred to as lay leaders) with chronic diseases themselves.

What is covered in the program?

  • Disease related problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Managing emotions
  • Exercise
  • Developing patient/physician partnership
  • Use of community resources
  • Nutrition
  • Managing medications
  • Advanced directives
  • Cognitive symptom management
  • Program Outcomes

The Division of Family and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine at Stanford University developed, tested and evaluated this program and found the following:

  • Subjects who took the program, when compared to those who did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities and limitations
  • Spent fewer days in the hospital
  • Trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations
  • Cost to savings ratio of 1:10
  • For more information about program outcomes and Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management program, visit their website.

Leader Trainings:

  • Are you interested in providing the CDSM program for members of your community with chronic diseases to help them increase their ability to manage their illnesses on their own? This training will prepare you to hold a 6 week workshop series to provide the Better Choices, Better Health Chronic Disease Self-Management program and is a great opportunity to join a supported network of other NH leaders offering this program throughout NH.
  • Do you have a chronic disease or are you a caregiver of someone with a chronic disease? The program is lay-led and, thus, you do not need to be a health professional to lead the workshops- in fact, Stanford recommends that Leaders be individuals living with a chronic condition or a caregiver for someone with a chronic condition.
  • Do you have a co-leader?  “Better Choices, Better Health” workshops are held in the community and are led by two trained Leaders. Thus, it is important to partner with an already trained leader or to attend with the leader training with a partner if possible. If you need a co-leader, let us know and we will try to help!

Can you commit to offering at least one 6-week program within one year, preferably within three months of being trained? It is really helpful to lead a training soon after to solidify your learning. Many communities find that offering two-three trainings per year is a great way to keep the program sustainable through word-of mouth.


Diabetes Self-Management Program:

Stanford  introduces a new program called Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP). This workshop focuses on people with Type 2 diabetes, and like the Better Choices Better Health program it is conducted over six weeks in  2 1/2 hour sessions held once a week and facilitated by 2 trained Leaders, one or both of whom are peer leaders with diabetes themselves.                                                                                

Individuals who wish to become DSMP leaders participate in a 4 1/2 day Leader Training. 

Current CDSMP Better Choices Better Health Leaders who wish to become certified as DSMP Leaders can participate in a special 2 day DSMP Cross-over Training program.

The next training session is TBD. 


More details on both training options is available by contacting Nitanga Jean De Dieu at [email protected]   



Chronic Pain Self-Management Program:

The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program was developed for people who have a diagnosis of chronic pain. Pain is described as being chronic or long term when it lasts for longer than 3 to 6 months, or beyond normal healing time. Like the Better Choices Better Health program, it is conducted over six weeks in  2 1/2 hour sessions held once a week and facilitated by 2 trained Leaders.


Individuals who wish to become CPSMP leaders can participate in a 4 day Leader Training. 

Current CDSMP Better Choices Better Health Leaders who wish to become certified as CPSMP Leaders can participate in a special 2 day CPSMP Cross-over Training program.

The next training session is TBD. 


More details on both training options is available by contacting Nitanga Jean De Dieu at [email protected]  

Workshops in New Hampshire and Vermont

View the Better Choices, Better Health video for more information on the program and how to become a Trained Leader.

For information about upcoming workshops in New Hampshire:


For workshops in Cheshire, Sullivan, Merrimack, Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties please contact:

Nitanga Jean De Dieu, Southern NH AHEC Program Assistant

128 State Route 27, Raymond, NH 03077 | (603) 244-7360 l email [email protected] 


For workshops in Coos, Carroll, Grafton, and Belknap Counties please contact:

Carolyn Schofield, Northern NH AHEC/North Country Health Consortium

262 Cottage Street, Suite 230, Littleton, NH 03561 | (603) 575-9078 x719 | [email protected]