Background: Statewide (Queensland) Clinical Guidelines reflecting current best practice have recently become available for the management of pregnancy-related obesity. However, dissemination of guidelines alone do not change practice.
Aim: To systematically assess evidence-practice gap in the multidisciplinary management of overweight and obesity (ow/ob) in pregnancy to inform an intervention to facilitate translating obesity guidelines into practice in a tertiary maternity service.
Materials and methods: An online survey, available over a three-week period (May-June 2011), was disseminated to obstetric, midwifery and allied health staff. Outcomes of interest included a 15-point guideline adherence score, knowledge of guideline content, advice given, knowledge of obesity-pregnancy-related complications, previous training and referral patterns.
Results: Eighty-four staff completed surveys (57% response rate). Widespread discordance with the guideline was noted. The majority (88.1%) reported overweight/obesity (ow/ob) as an important/very important general obstetric issue, most correctly identified associated complications. However, only 32.1% were aware of existing guidelines, with only half correctly identifying BMI categories for ow/ob. Compliance with referral recommendations varied; 20% of staff considered referral 'was not their job'.
Conclusions: Staff are aware of negative outcomes associated with maternal ow/ob, although few are fully compliant with referral guidelines or provide advice in line with recommendations. These findings will be categorised using implementation of science methodological frameworks, and effective behaviour change interventions will be constructed to facilitate translation of this important guideline into practice.
© 2012 The Authors ANZJOG © 2012 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.