To examine the influence of diabetes education on well-being, 255 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited according to whether they attended a diabetes education program (n = 126) or not (n = 129). In patients who had participated in the program, the mean anxiety score was significantly lower. whereas positive well-being and general well-being scores were significantly higher than for patients who had not participated. Factors related to lower well-being included: being female, taking insulin, not attending a diabetes education program and having HbA(1c), level greater than 8%. The odds of having better well-being were two-fold higher in patients participating the diabetes education program compared with those who had not. Diabetes education has a crucial role in improving the well-being of patients with type 2 diabetes. All patients with diabetes should be encouraged to attend a diabetes education program. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.