The project consists of a qualitative semi-structured interview study to examine the needs of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy with regard to information, health care service and support. For this study we expect to include 15-20 women with GDM at the Obstetrics and Diabetes out-patient clinic at Odense University Hospital.
For this project, sociodemographic and clinical information of participants will be collected and interviews will be conducted.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prevalent pregnancy complication that is associated with an increased risk of adverse obstetric and post-partum maternal and child outcomes.
The main focus in the GDM treatment is to normalize maternal glucose levels in order to prevent fetal overgrowth and related complications.
The primary instruments for this are diet treatment and increased physical activity and in more severe cases additional insulin treatment.
Both difficulties in making lifestyle adjustments, and psychological distress, including depression and anxiety disorders, are common after a GDM diagnosis and appear to contribute to adverse outcomes. Moreover, difficulties in adjusting lifestyle behaviours and psychological distress seem to interact; women with GDM report that they often experience psychological distress in response to difficulties in adjusting lifestyle during pregnancy whereas psychological distress has been associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviours and with a decreased ability to follow the treatment demands in studies of pregnant women without diabetes and other patient groups.
However, in Denmark difficulties in adjusting lifestyle behaviours and psychological distress are currently not assessed and addressed in clinical practice when women have developed GDM.
Previous intervention studies aiming to optimize lifestyle behaviours and minimizing psychological distress among women with GDM during pregnancy, paid little attention to the needs and preferences of these women with regard to information provision, health care service and patient support and care.
By identifying these needs and preferences, more effective interventions can be developed, which in turn can improve pregnancy and post-partum outcomes.
Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the needs of women with GDM regarding information, health care service and support and care, and to evaluate to what extent these needs are met.
Description of the cohort
The women will be recruited from the Obstetrics and Diabetes out-patient clinic at Odense University Hospital.
At the clinic, around 250 cases with new GDM are seen per year. Pregnant women with first time onset of GDM according to the Danish criteria will be eligible if they are: 1) ≥18 years old, 2) are able to complete the interview in Danish or English, and 3) do not have intellectual disabilities or psychiatric conditions that hamper participation (judgement of the health care team).