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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 104-109

Practice patterns among healthcare professionals for screening, diagnosis, and management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in selected countries of Asia, Africa, and Middle East

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Isra University, Karachi-Campus, Pakistan
2 Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Canada
3 Department of Diabetology, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, ICMR Centre for Advanced Research on Diabetes and Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, IDF Centre of Excellence in Diabetes Care, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shabeen Naz Masood
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Isra University, Karachi-Campus.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jod.jod_63_21

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Background: Healthcare professionals (HCPs) face several challenges while treating women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and often get confused by the different diagnostic criteria recommended by different scientific organizations. A survey was carried out to understand the practices of physicians and obstetricians in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, to identify the screening methods and diagnostic criteria used by them for managing women with GDM in the respective countries. Materials and Methods: HCPs across three different regions including South Asia, Middle East, and Africa were contacted through professional diabetes organizations. An online survey designed with Google Forms was created. The link to the survey was shared with HCPs, and the responses were collected and stored in the Google Sheets which was later downloaded for analysis. Results: A total of 356 doctors participated in the survey. The survey covered a total of 18 countries: 3 in South Asia, 5 in Africa, and 10 in the Middle East. The vast majority of the HCPs (64.6%) screened all pregnant women for GDM. About 42.4% of them screened for GDM between 24 and 28 weeks, 21.1% screened before 12 weeks, and the rest carried out screening at different time points. With regard to the screening method, 58.5% of the HCPs responded that they followed the two-step process. However, when asked about the criteria used, the responses were inconsistent. The criteria of the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group (IADPSG) were used by 36.5% doctors and the 1999 criteria by the old World Health Organization (WHO) were used by 27.2%, and only 23.9% reported following the American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria. Conclusion: This large international survey shows that there are still considerable inaccuracies in doctors following the recommended guidelines for GDM diagnosis. This reiterates the fact that more education and training will help HCPs to manage GDM better.

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