A qualitative exploration of risk perceptions, health beliefs and health behaviours in women with previous history of gestational diabetes
AbstractWomen with previous history of gestational diabetes (GD) remain at high risk of developing diabetes which can be delayed or avoided by adopting a healthy life style. Low risk perception has been recognised as a barrier to the adoption of positive health behaviour. The current qualitative study aimed to explore the risk perception and awareness of follow up screenings and life style changes amongst the women with a previous history of gestational diabetes, living in the Merseyside area. Seven women were recruited and qualitative data was collected using face to face interviews with the help of a semi-structured interview schedule which was voice-recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. Eight major themes emerged as the result of data analysis. Five themes provided direct answers to the research questions while the others provided additional relevant information. The findings showed a low risk perception of developing diabetes in the future. Patients who knew about the risk believed that their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was no different from that of women with no history of GD. The study highlighted a significant contrast in antenatal and postnatal health behaviour. Women were consulted regarding the immediate effects of gestational diabetes on pregnancy and foetal health and as a result, patients followed the expected health behaviours. Whereas, GD was perceived as a temporary condition and participants were not fully convinced about the future health risk of developing diabetes. Participation in postpartum screening was high. However, participants were unaware of annual screening requirements as recommended by NICE guidelines and they were not offered any post delivery health intervention or counselling. This study warrants a need for developing a long term intervention programme which should include an early intervention to prevent initial shock and anxiety during pregnancy, and a long term follow up incorporating life style advice and a reminder for annual screening.
CitationSharma, M. (2015). A qualitative exploration of risk perceptions, health beliefs and health behaviours in women with previous history of gestational diabetes. (Master's thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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