It’s easy to see how women with small children might find it difficult to make and keep appointments and we also found lots of evidence about fragmented care and mixed messages about the screening. There’s a substantial health gain to be made if the testing regime could be strengthened and made more sensitive to women’s needs alongside effective messages to boost the mothers’ motivation to attend.”
- Becky Dennison, researcher at the Prevention Group
Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy – called gestational diabetes or GDM – have a relatively high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after their babies are born. Blood tests to screen for diabetes after the birth of the baby, and annually thereafter, are recommended to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment. However, many women do not arrange tests or do not attend their appointments to have the test done.
To find out what might help, Becky Dennison and fellow researchers at the Prevention Group in the Primary Care Unit looked at the views of women concerning screening for diabetes. They identified and reviewed all the published literature on this topic to work out both what gets in the way for the mothers and what makes access easier. On the basis of the evidence they reviewed, they suggest a set of key messages for all mothers who have had gestational diabetes as well as some potential changes to how the screening is organised.
This research is part of Becky Dennison’s work into the experience of women who have had gestational diabetes and the impact of interventions meant to improve their health by reducing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes after their babies are born.
Publication: R Dennison, R Fox, R Ward, S Griffin, J Usher‐Smith. Women’s views on screening for Type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes: a systematic review, qualitative synthesis and recommendations for increasing uptake. Diabetic Medicine. 18 July 2019
Read the full press release from University of Cambridge.