Living with Gestational Diabetes in a Rural Community

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Purpose: To explore the lived experiences of women with a recent history of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) who live in rural communities.

Study Design and Methods: A phenomenological study exploring the lived experiences of 10 women aged 25 to 49 years with a history of GDM in the past 5 years. Data were collected through two semi-structured short interviews that were conducted in person or by telephone.

Results: Five themes emerged: Authentic Emotion, Judgment, It’s Only a Matter of Time, I Can’t Do This Alone, and Missed Opportunities

Clinical Nursing Implications: There is a lack of understanding of GDM by women at the time of diagnosis and after delivery. Many opportunities are missed to provide education and support to facilitate lifestyle interventions. Self-management of GDM is more likely to be successful if women understand GDM and believe that they can manage this condition. Nurses need to recognize that negative emotions may impact the motivation of women to understand and ask questions about GDM. The majority of women in this study noted that health-care professionals did not discuss the future implications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the need for follow-up glucose testing. Nurses can favorably influence the return rates for postpartum glucose testing by raising awareness of the implications of GDM on future health.



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