Dr Brian McMillan's article was the result of research funded by the RCGP Scientific Foundation Board (SFB).
Reducing risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes: a qualitative study to explore the potential of technology in primary care. Brian McMillan, Katherine Easton, Elizabeth Goyder, Brigitte Delaney, Priya Madhuvrata, Reem Abdelgalil and Caroline Mitchell. Br J Gen Pract 2018; 68 (669)
Gestational diabetes (GD) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and resolves after giving birth. Women who develop GD are seven times more likely to go on to have type 2 diabetes (T2DM) later in life.
This study examined the views of women diagnosed with GD to find out how they could be better supported postnatally, and the potential role of technology in reducing their risk of developing T2DM.
"We interviewed 27 women postnatally who had been previously diagnosed with GD. The most important barrier to engaging in a healthy lifestyle postnatally was competing demands on time. Although women were generally satisfied with the care they received in hospital, some felt abandoned postnatally and were uncertain what to expect from their GP in terms of follow-up and support."
The results showed that women felt postnatal care could be improved by greater clarity regarding GP follow up, enhanced by peer support, input from other experts such as dieticians, and subsidised facilities. Technology was seen as a potentially useful tool for ongoing care and support by providing information, enabling flexible and personalised self-management, and facilitating social support. A more tailored approach for women who have had GD may help reduce the risk of later developing T2DM.
CONTINUING THE RESEARCH
With additional School funding, Brian will continue to investigate how technology can be used in the primary care setting to encourage healthy lifestyles. The funding will look at what patients want from online access to their primary care record.