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Diabetes self-care management (DSCM) is complex because various factors and relationships influence its processes.This study aimed to identify the level of DSCM, compare the levels of self care between patients with type 1 and patients with type 2 diabetes, and identify significant predictors of self-care among Jordanian patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who were taking insulin.A descriptive cross-sectional design was employed using a convenience sample of 310 Jordanian patients. The Arabic translated version of the 40-item Diabetes Self-Management Scale was used to collect data.The type of diabetes (t(310) = 4.81; p < .001) and the type of medications (insulin, or insulin and tablets) (t(310) = 4.75; p < .001) significantly affected the level of self-care. Age (t(296) = − 3.41; p = 0.001), gender (t(296) = −4.78; p < 0.001) training in self-care (t(296) = 4.30; p < .001), educational level (t(296) = 2.81, P = .005) and using traditional treatment (herbal therapy) (t(296) = −4.64, p < .001) significantly predicted self-care and explained around 58% of the variance in self-care.Various factors were found to influence self-care. Further research is needed to explore the complex nature of DSCM.