Pre-gestational and gestational diabetes mellitus are common complications in pregnancy affecting one in six pregnancies. The maternity services are under significant strain managing the increasing number of complex pregnancies. This has an impact on patients’ experience of antenatal care. Therefore, there is a clear need to address pregnancy care. One possible solution is to use home-based digital technology to reduce clinic visits and improve clinical monitoring.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the antenatal services provided to pregnant women with diabetes who were monitored at the joint metabolic and obstetric clinic at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.
The questionnaires were completed by sixty-three women, most of whom had gestational diabetes mellitus. Most of the participants were between 25 and 35 years of age (69.8%), had one or more children (65.1%) and spent over 2 h attending the clinics (63.9%); 78% of women indicated that their travel time to and from the clinic appointment was over 15 min. Over 70% of women used smartphones for health-related purposes. However, only 8.8% used smartphones to manage their health or diabetes. Less than 25% of the women surveyed expressed concerns about using digital technology from home to monitor various aspects of their health in pregnancy.
Overall, pregnant women who had or developed diabetes in pregnancy experience frequent hospital visits and long waiting times in the maternity clinics. Most of these pregnant women are willing to self-manage their condition from home and to be monitored remotely by the healthcare staff.
Supervisor: Grieve, D. (Supervisor), Lyons, T. (Supervisor) & McClements, L. (Supervisor)
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy