Compliance with treatment regimen in women with gestational diabetes: Living with fear

Fatemeh Ghaffari, Mahvash Salsali, Zahra Rahnavard, Soroor Parvizy



Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus is a prevalent pregnancy complication that seriously endangers mothers’ and babies’ health. The aim of this study was to explore factors affecting treatment compliance among women with gestational diabetes mellitus.

Materials and Methods: A qualitative content analysis approach was employed. Twenty‑five semi‑structured interviews were conducted with hospitalized pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus. The research was conducted in four teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran; purposive sampling was used.

Results: Participants’ experiences regarding factors that influence treatment compliance fell into six categories: Unexpected diagnosis, the need for urgent change, temptation to consume inappropriate foods, life in the shadow of the illness, risk avoidance, and seeking adjustment.

Conclusions: Holistic education of families on gestational diabetes, training specialist diabetes nurses, and referral to public health centers and diabetes clinics could increase treatment compliance. These findings could serve patients and the healthcare system in general, if considered by healthcare officials and policy makers. Furthermore, providing outpatient services, considering cultural dietary conventions when recommending diets, and alleviating the stigma associated with diabetes through mass media could also promote treatment compliance.

Key words: Compliance with treatment regimen, gestational diabetes, pregnancy, qualitative study

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