Pilot Feasibility Study of an Educational Intervention in Women With Gestational Diabetes

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Objectives:To pilot test the feasibility of an educational intervention, Start Understanding Gestational Diabetes and Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes (SUGAR), in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).Design:A pretest–posttest, two-group study design.Setting:Three obstetrics and gynecology offices in the southeastern United States.Participants:Twenty-three women with a first-time diagnosis of GDM.Methods:Women diagnosed with GDM were recruited and placed in a control group or educational intervention group. Women completed six self-report, standardized questionnaires at baseline (third trimester) and posttest (6–8 weeks postpartum). Women in the intervention group (n = 18) received the SUGAR educational intervention after the baseline data collection with a booster session at 2 to 4 weeks postpartum. Women in the control group (n = 5) received an attention control treatment.Results:Study participants had obesity, and most had a family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The attrition rate was low (n = 2; 8%). The educational intervention significantly increased diabetes mellitus knowledge for women in the SUGAR group. In addition, 39% of participants received the recommended postpartum glucose screening.Conclusion:Although the effect of the SUGAR intervention with a small sample was not expected to produce statistically significant changes, we add our pilot study to the limited research of diabetes mellitus preventative care for women with GDM and provide preliminary findings to develop meaningful education and support for women diagnosed with GDM. Future researchers need to focus on prevention programs that center on self-efficacy, postpartum glucose screening, and adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors.

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