From screening to postpartum follow-up – the determinants and barriers for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) services, a systematic review

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Nielsen, Karoline Kragelund, Kapur, Anil, Damm, Peter, de Courten, Maximilian and Bygbjerg, Ib Christian (2014) From screening to postpartum follow-up – the determinants and barriers for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) services, a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14. ISSN 1471-2393

Abstract

Background Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) – a transitory form of diabetes first recognised during pregnancy complicates between < 1% and 28% of all pregnancies. GDM has important short and long-term health consequences for both the mother and her offspring. To prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes and to prevent or delay future onset of type 2 diabetes in mother and offspring, timely detection, optimum treatment, and preventive postpartum care and follow-up is necessary. However the area remains grossly under-prioritised. Methods To investigate determinants and barriers to GDM care from initial screening and diagnosis to prenatal treatment and postpartum follow-up, a PubMed database search to identify quantitative and qualitative studies on the subject was done in September 2012. Fifty-eight relevant studies were reviewed. Results Adherence to prevailing GDM screening guidelines and compliance to screening tests seems sub-optimal at best and arbitrary at worst, with no clear or consistent correlation to health care provider, health system or client characteristics. Studies indicate that most women express commitment and motivation for behaviour change to protect the health of their unborn baby, but compliance to recommended treatment and advice is fraught with challenges, and precious little is known about health system or societal factors that hinder compliance and what can be done to improve it. A number of barriers related to health care provider/system and client characteristics have been identified by qualitative studies. Immediately following a GDM pregnancy many women, when properly informed, desire and intend to maintain healthy lifestyles to prevent future diabetes, but find the effort challenging. Adherence to recommended postpartum screening and continued lifestyle modifications seems even lower. Here too, health care provider, health system and client related determinants and barriers were identified. Studies reveal that sense of self-efficacy and social support are key determinants. Conclusions The paper identifies and discusses determinants and barriers for GDM care, fully recognising that these are highly dependent on the context.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/25477
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-14-41
Official URL http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/14/41
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords gestational diabetes mellitus, health services, barriers, determinants, lifestyle, screening
Citations in Scopus 126 - View on Scopus
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