Background: The introduction of the new GDM diagnostic criteria as proposed by The International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group will increase the number of women diagnosed with GDM. This introduction will markedly increase current workloads, requiring more resources or alternatively, smarter workplace practices.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to (i) optimise the use of diabetes education, dietetics and physiotherapy consulting time in anticipation of an increased workload, and (ii) ensure education continues in alignment with current hospital guidelines and meets the education needs of women with GDM.
Method: A 3 hour group education session for English speaking women with newly diagnosed GDM was developed and piloted. The session consisted of one hour each with the diabetes educator (DE), physiotherapist and dietitian. Groups were defined by a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 women. Comprehension of the information given in the session was evaluated with a questionnaire.
Results: A total of 137 women attended the 32 sessions held. When a session held six participants, initial consult times for diabetes education were reduced by 83% and dietetics 33%. The physiotherapist workload increased by 50% to accomodate the pilot group. Questionnaire results indicated all educational needs were met to a satisfactory level.
Conclusion: Multidisciplinary group education sessions are an effective and efficient method of providing information to women diagnosed with GDM. The group sessions optimise DE and dietetics consulting time and allow for an increase in the number of women that can be educated. Physiotherapy required more resources, but were working more efficiently as numbers of women attending increased. The sessions will be incorporated into mainstream education in preparation for a projected increase in the number of women diagnosed with GDM with the new criteria.