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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Dec;54(6):534-40. doi: 10.1111/ajo.12246. Epub 2014 Oct 11.

Improving health service delivery for women with diabetes in pregnancy in remote Australia: survey of care in the Northern Territory Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership.

Author information

1
Department of Health, Top End Remote Health, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the Northern Territory (NT), 38% of 3500 births each year are to Indigenous women, 80% of whom live in regional and remote areas. Compared with the general Australian population, rates of pre-existing type 2 diabetes in pregnancy are 10-fold higher and rates of gestational diabetes are 1.5-fold higher among Indigenous women. Current practices in screening for diabetes in pregnancy in remote Australia are not known.

AIMS:

To assess current health service delivery for NT women with diabetes in pregnancy (DIP) by surveying healthcare professionals' views and practices in DIP screening and management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional survey of NT healthcare professionals providing clinical care for women with DIP was conducted based on pre-identified themes of communication, care-coordination, education, orientation and guidelines, logistics and access, and information technology.

RESULTS:

Of the 116 responders to the survey, 78% were primary healthcare professionals, 32% midwives and 25% general practitioners. High staff turnover was evident: of Central Australian professionals, only 33% (urban) and 18% (regional/remote) had been in their current position over 5 years. DIP screening was conducted at first antenatal visit by 66% and at 24-28-week gestation by 81%. Only 50% of respondents agreed that most women at their health service received appropriate care for DIP, and 41% of primary care practitioners were neutral or not confident in their skills to manage DIP.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is promising that many healthcare professionals report following new guidelines in conducting early pregnancy screening for DIP in high risk women. Several challenges were identified in healthcare delivery to a high risk population in remote Australia.

KEYWORDS:

gestational diabetes; health services; healthcare delivery; pregnancy in diabetics; rural health

PMID:
25308373
DOI:
10.1111/ajo.12246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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