Conversation Map Program Facilitates Diabetes Education Worldwide

The Conversation Map tools help incorporate guidelines to help clinicians individualize diabetes management.

Let the conversation continue!

The participants at the International Diabetes Federation’s World Diabetes Congress were given an update on the unique international Conversation Program as a method for patient engagement. The diabetes conversations program is designed to assist healthcare providers in engaging people with diabetes in their care by facilitating conversation, focusing on the person’s wants and desires, and identifying barriers and strategies for successful management.1 

The Conversation Map — an integral part of the program — is an educational tool on which health providers are trained so they can help those with diabetes become more engaged and involved in learning how to better manage the disease. As described by Barbara Eichorst, MS, RD, CDE, Conversation Map tools engage people with diabetes using a unique, visual learning approach that facilitates open, interactive group dialogue. Conversation Map tools also allow educators and other trained health providers to facilitate dynamic, interactive group discussions for up to 10 participants at once.

The tools were developed with the goal of being efficient and potentially more cost-effective. They are designed to be outcomes-driven and flexible, and are built on a foundation of evidence-based education principles and clinical guidelines that include the International Standards of Education for Diabetes Health Professionals, published by the IDF.2  

These Conversation Maps are used in more than 120 countries and have been translated into more than 35 languages. They can be adapted by institutions ranging from small, neighborhood clinics to large, regional hospitals or centers, and can be integrated into existing support programs at any stage of diabetes management

The utilization of the Conversation Map education tools is designed to stimulate behavior change with the goal of improved self-care management along with patient empowerment and engagement

The program started in 2006. Since then, more than 50 studies, papers, posters, and abstracts from 14 countries have been presented or published. The uniqueness and power of this program resides in its use internationally yet focuses on the issues and areas that many people with diabetes share despite their global location. 


  1. Eichorst B. Diabetes Conversation Map tools: Delivering diabetes self-management education and support (DSME/S) around the world. Programme overview — outcomes and deliverables. Presented at the World Diabetes Congress; November 30-December 4, 2015; Vancouver, Canada.
  2. McLaughlin S, Chaney D, Belton A, et al. International Standards for Education of Diabetes Health Professionals. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation; 2015.