In 2014, updated screening and diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes (GDM) were introduced across Australia. Many states including Queensland introduced clinical guidelines to include these changes and other recommendations for GDM management. While it is understood that GDM diagnosis has increased, it is unknown whether resources or service delivery have changed, or whether health services have implemented the guidelines.
To understand the staff resourcing, models of care, level of guideline implementation and barriers and enablers to implementing the guideline across Queensland Health GDM services.
Materials and Methods
A 22‐item electronic survey containing multiple choice and open‐ended questions was disseminated to healthcare professionals involved in GDM care across 14 Hospital and Health Services (HHS) in Queensland between August and October 2017.
Fifty‐three surveys were included for analysis. Between 2014 and 2016, Queensland GDM diagnosis increased by an average of 33%, yet only eight out of 14 HHS reported increases to staff resourcing. Full implementation of the GDM guideline was reported by 41% of metropolitan compared with 29% for regional and 25% for rural/remote services. Guideline recommendations were inconsistently delivered for physical activity advice, minimum schedule of dietetics appointments and psychosocial support. The most common barrier to guideline implementation was staff resourcing (85%), whereas enablers included staff/teamwork (42%), staff resourcing (21%), local protocols (21%) and staff education/knowledge (15%).
Increased staff funding as well as an implementation science‐driven process for guideline implementation is required to ensure that the increasing number of women with GDM can receive evidence‐based care.