Context: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a kind of hyperglycemia and one of pregnancy's most common health problems. It affects 1%-28% of pregnancies worldwide, representing approximately 18 million births annually. It is considered a major cause of prenatal morbidity and mortality.
Aim: The present study aims to construct and evaluate the effect of self-care guidelines on the knowledge and practice of pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus.
Methods: Quasi-experimental (one group pre/post-test) design was utilized to achieve the aim of this study. The study subjects consisted of 200 pregnant women recruited from the antenatal clinic. The data collection tools include a structured interviewing questionnaire to assess the pregnant women's characteristics, obstetric history, and women’s knowledge regarding gestational diabetes mellitus. The second tool was women-reported self-care practice checklists of pregnant women with diabetes mellitus (pre/post-self-care guidelines).
Results: A women's mean age of 29.7±5.8 and 1.97±0.91 was the mean gravidity. The majority (96%) of studied women had unsatisfactory knowledge, only 4% of them had satisfactory knowledge about GDM, and 95% of them had unsatisfactory practice about GDM. Only 5% of them had satisfactory practice about GDM before self-care guidelines implementation compared to 90% and 94% satisfactory knowledge and practice, respectively, with a highly statistically significant difference between the two phases (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The study concluded a positive effect of the self-care guidelines in improving women's knowledge and self-care practices regarding GDM. The study recommended regular and continuous health educational programs to enhance women's knowledge and self-care practices regarding GDM with further application of self-care guidelines in different settings.
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