Women with a gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) history have increased lifetime type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, with 16 times greater risk 3 to 6 years after the pregnancy, compared with women without GDM. Offspring from diabetes-complicated pregnancies also face increased health risks.
The study purpose was to describe the primary care practices of nurse practitioners (NPs) aimed at reducing T2D-related health risks in women with a history of GDM.
Florida-licensed primary care NPs (n = 47) completed a 57-item online survey that included an 8-item scale about recommended practices to reduce T2D risks for women with GDM history. Descriptive statistics, Chi Square test, and Fisher exact test were conducted.
Most (67%) participants “often/always” screened for T2D every 1–3 years per guidelines, but only 31.8% “often/always” advised about pregnancy planning/preconception T2D assessment. Compared with “none” or ≤2 hours of GDM care education, participants with >2 hours were more likely (p < .05) to “often/always” perform five recommended practices: 1) counsel about increased T2D risks; 2) educate about self-advocacy for T2D screening; 3) T2D screening every 1–3 years; 4) counsel about breastfeeding to reduce T2D risk; and 5) discuss postpartum weight loss and increased physical activity to lower T2D risk.
Findings indicate inconsistent care practices and suggest that >2 hours of education about care of women with GDM history may increase primary care NPs performing recommended practices to reduce T2D risks and prevent health problems for women and future offspring.
Nurse practitioner education is needed involving care of women with GDM history to mitigate risks for T2D.