Objective: To examine the relationship between women's perceptions of the impact of the diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus and treatment adherence.
Design: Longitudinal and prospective, extending from the time of diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus through delivery.
Setting: An urban university-based tertiary perinatal center in Philadelphia.
Participants: A subsample of women enrolled in a larger study of early discharge and nurse specialist transitional care. The 29 women in the sample met the study criteria of diagnosis with gestational diabetes mellitus, English speaking, less than 36 weeks gestation, and telephone access at home.
Main outcome measure: Perceived impact of gestational diabetes mellitus was measured with the Impact of Event Scale. Treatment adherence included the percentage of recommended blood glucose self-monitoring, incidence of hypo- and hyperglycemia, obstetric visits kept, and dietary adherence.
Results: Descriptive and correlational analyses were used. Negative correlations between impact and blood glucose self-monitoring (r = -.38, p = .04) and impact and hypoglycemia (r = -.31, p = .10) were found. Positive correlation between obstetric visits and blood glucose self-monitoring (r = .34, p = .07) was found.
Conclusions: Women who perceive gestational diabetes mellitus to have a great impact on their lives may be less adherent to the behavioral tasks that can influence blood glucose control, potentially increasing risk.