Women with GDM are identified as an “ideal” group for prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by postnatal follow up enabling early lifestyle or pharmacological management . GDM affects approximately 6% of Australian pregnancies [2-4], affecting maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Postnatally half of GDM mothers develop T2DM within 5 years. Despite recommendations, postnatal follow up rates are suboptimal (3.4% - 50%[2, 6, 7]). This is inconsistent with best practice maternity care, an Australian National Health Service priority .
Quality and satisfaction of care, both patient and clinicians has been associated with type and quality of intergroup communication. This is important in complex cases such as follow up of GDM where communication involves intergroup communication between care settings.
Communication accommodation theory (CAT) has been used by other health specialties to determine intergroup relations and impact on quality of patient care. CAT describes how distinct group attributes, values, attitudes and motivations influence an individual’s communication pattern which in turn affects communication quality[11, 12].
1. Assess communication between health care providers and patients when managing postnatal follow up of GDM women.
2. Identify areas of communication that may benefit from the introduction of other forms of communication and documentation.
3. Determine the relationship between mode of communication and adherence to postnatal follow up recommendations for women diagnosed with GDM.
This novel application of CAT to analyse communication between clients and health professionals, as well as between clinician groups may provide from an intergroup perspective reasons why the postnatal follow up of women with pregnancies complicated by GDM is low[6, 13].
Identification of areas of communication and documentation methods ascertained from intergroup dynamics may assist clinicians and patients improve best practice postnatal follow up of patients such as women who have a pregnancy complicated by GDM.