In a recent survey conducted by Diabetes WA of over 100 health professionals who provide support to women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), nearly 90% of respondents perceived a gap in current health resources and a need for a program to better support women post-GDM and to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the future.
The factors considered to be most important to health professionals when recommending an online program for their patients included;
- Flexibility – anywhere, anytime (92% agreed an online format will increase accessibility)
- Cost-free to access
- Evidence-based content (including evaluation outcomes and consumer satisfaction)
- Reflects current clinical guidelines
- Cultural appropriateness – for higher risk ethnic groups including ATSI and CALD populations
Readily accessible program information and flyers to give patients were key requirements identified, along with the recommendation to ensure that information about a Post-GDM program is included in the National Gestational Diabetes Register (NGDR) reminders. Incorporating the content into existing clinical pathways (‘All About Me’ purple book – given to women within 14 days of birth) was also considered important.
When familiarised with the recently piloted Baby Steps program – an online lifestyle and type 2 diabetes prevention program adapted for Australian women who have had a diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during one or more pregnancies – survey participants showed positive support, with 83% agreeing that their patients would benefit from participating in an online program like Baby Steps; and 87% being likely to recommend a program like Baby Steps to their patients.
Baby Steps has demonstrated program acceptability and effectiveness for women post-GDM across two national pilots with the potential of being rolled out nationally over the next 12 months. For more information on the Baby Steps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.