Clinician views and knowledge regarding healthcare provision in the postpartum period for women with recent gestational diabetes: a systematic review of qualitative/survey studies

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014 Dec;106(3):401-11. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Aim: To examine clinician views and knowledge regarding postpartum healthcare provision for women who have experienced gestational diabetes (GDM).

Methods: Systematic review that searched PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE and CINAHL. Qualitative studies and surveys, with clinicians as participants, which reported pre-specified outcomes, including barriers and facilitators to postpartum care for GDM, were included. Two authors independently assessed quality and undertook thematic synthesis.

Results: Eleven surveys and two interview studies were included (4435 clinicians). Key themes included adequacy of knowledge of risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), gaps between knowledge and practice relating to postpartum screening, and differing perceptions of the value of postpartum screening. Clinicians perceived that women faced obstacles to accessing healthcare, and a need for improved GDM education. Studies reported shortfalls in systems to ensure postpartum screening occurs, and a need to improve communication and collaboration relating to care of women who have experienced GDM. The surveys were often limited in their depth and ability to identify remedial strategies.

Conclusions: Barriers to provision of care for women who have had GDM, such as lack of communication of the diagnosis, need to be addressed, and further interview studies exploring clinician views on screening for T2DM are required.

Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus; Healthcare; Postpartum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research*