Accessibility and screening uptake rates for gestational diabetes mellitus in Ireland

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Abstract

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy and is associated with a range of maternal and neonatal complications and conditions. Given increasing levels of prevalence worldwide, there are growing calls for the implementation of screening practices to identify and treat positive GDM cases. This paper uses a unique dataset to investigate the role of healthcare centre accessibility on the decision to attend for screening, employing geographic information systems, econometric and simulation techniques. We focus on the extent to which ‘travel distance to screening hospital site’ impacts upon the individual's screen uptake decision, whether significant geographic inequalities exist in relation to accessibility to screening, and the likely impact on uptake rates of providing screening services at a local level via primary care. Our findings have important implications for the provision of GDM screening services.

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