Jori Aalders, MSc, PhD

Steno Diabetes Center Odense

Title of project

INTENTION: an intervention development study to enhance pregnancy and early post-partum outcomes of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)


Project’s rationale: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prevalent condition that is despite intensified care over the past decade still associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy and child outcomes. Both difficulties in following GDM treatment correctly and psychological distress appear to contribute to these adverse outcomes and are common after diagnosis. However, it is currently unclear how GDM treatment barriers and psychological distress after diagnosis can be successfully addressed within the Danish health care setting.

Purpose: To develop an intervention to reduce/prevent GDM treatment barriers and psychological distress during pregnancies affected by GDM based on a triangulated methodology and using co-production to optimize pregnancy and child outcomes.
Strategy: To gain a better understanding of GDM treatment barriers and psychological distress within the Danish context and to identify potential intervention strategies, 1) relevant literature will be reviewed, 2) women with GDM and health care providers involved in GDM care will be interviewed to explore experiences and needs, and 3) a longitudinal quantitative study will be conducted to collect data on sociodemographics, GDM treatment barriers, psychological distress and clinical outcomes. Based on these findings, an intervention with several components focused on information, the organization of care and support, including a flexible self-guided online platform, will be developed together with stakeholders to prevent/reduce GDM treatment barriers and psychological distress. To improve feasibility, this intervention will subsequently be evaluated in a pilot study.

Outcomes: With this approach, a better understanding will be obtained of the role of GDM treatment barriers and psychological distress in relation to pregnancy and child outcomes. Moreover, the developed intervention will be promising to implement in clinical care to further evaluate effectivity.

Impact: If our approach is successful to optimize outcomes of pregnancies affected by GDM, the developed intervention is promising to be nationally implemented. Furthermore, the intervention could serve as a generic model that could be adapted to women at risk of GDM and to women with other pregnancy complications and risk factors of adverse outcomes, such as obesity and preeclampsia. On the long run, the effect on long-term child outcomes can be evaluated and the intervention could be implemented in other countries.

Jori Aalders, MSc, PhD
Principal investigator

Dorte Møller Jensen, Steno Diabetes Center Odense

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