Stanford self-management programme



Key points about the Stanford chronic disease self-management programme

  • The Stanford chronic disease self-management programme is a 6-week course for anyone with an ongoing health condition to learn skills and tips that support your health and wellbeing
  • The programme is suitable for anyone over the age of 18 who has an ongoing health condition.
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The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP) is an evidence-based programme based on more than 25 years of research that is used in more than 25 countries around the world. The programme is now available in multiple languages in Aotearoa New Zealand, including te reo Māori, Samoan, Tongan and Hindi.

The programme a 6-week course for 2½ hours a week. These sessions are held during the day, evening or weekend to suit local groups and are held in clinics, community centres, churches and marae.

In Aotearoa New Zealand the programme is sometimes also called The Healthy Living Course, My Health, Our LIFE (MHOL), Whakamana Hauora,  Manage Better or Living a Healthy Life.

The programme is suitable for anyone over the age of 18 who has an ongoing health condition such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, depression, or who is at risk of health issues developing because they have prediabetes, high blood pressure or obesity.

Your family/whānau or carers are welcome to join you. They will learn lots too!

The programme is free for you and your family/whānau or carers.

Programme workshops are led by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are peer leaders. Peer leaders are non-health professionals with long-term health conditions. They know what it is like to live with the day-to-day challenges some health conditions bring.

Graduates of the programme can do further training and become a peer leader.

Subjects covered in the workshops include:

  • ways to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
  • safe exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
  • appropriate use of medicines
  • communicating effectively with family/whānau, friends and healthcare providers
  • nutrition
  • shared decision making
  • how to evaluate new treatments for yourself.

Courses are provided by a range of primary care organisations, including ProCare Health, HealthWest, East Health and East Tamaki Healthcare. Arthiritis NZ also offers courses.  

The best way to find out about what is available in your area is to ask your GP, nurse or other healthcare provider. Here are some other suggested contacts:

Location Contact details
West Auckland
North Shore and Central Auckland
 Counties Manukau
 Hawkes Bay 
Palmerston North
  • Contact your GP/nurse.
  • Contact THINK Hauora(external link) to find out where courses are being held by phone 06 3549107 or email
 Wellington and Wairarapa

If you have attended a self-management programme and found it useful, consider becoming a peer leader. This is a great opportunity to further develop your own self-management skills while also helping others develop new skills. Talk to your programme provider if you would like to do this leader training. 

Video: Participant stories - Stanford Self-Management Programme

Listen to people sharing their stories about what they learned from attending a Stanford self-management programme. This video may take a few moments to load.

(Health Navigator Charitable Trust, NZ, 2014)

Program development and evidence-base(external link) Self-Management Resource Centre

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Credits: Healthify Editorial Team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Pat Flanagan, Long-Term Conditions Consultant, Wellington

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