Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Assessment (SDSCA)

The Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) questionnaire was developed by Oregon Research Institute (ORI) senior scientists Deborah Toobert, Ph.D., Sarah Hampson, Ph.D., and Russell E. Glasgow from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and offers researchers and practitioners a much-needed brief self-report survey to assess diabetes self-management.

It focuses on general diet, diabetes-specific diet, physical activity, blood-glucose testing, foot care, and smoking. The instrument assesses the absolute frequency or consistency of diabetes health-related regimen behaviors (e.g., number of days per week on which respondents engage in physical activity sessions; number of days in past 7 days respondents ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables). The expanded version of the SDSCA measures adherence and compares the respondent’s behavior with medical or health advice. The research for the SDSCA was supported from 1983-2009 by the National Institutes of Health.


The SDSCA has undergone two sets of validations, one with three studies (Toobert & Glasgow, 1994), and one with seven studies (Toobert, Hampson, & Glasgow, 2000). A 2000 article in Diabetes Care provided normative data, inter-item and test-retest reliability, correlations between the SDSCA subscales and a range of criterion measures, and sensitivity to change from seven different studies. There have been no further updates of the newer versions of the SDSCA since the 2000 Diabetes Care article.