Poster Presentation Australian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society 2018

Attitudes to Diet and Exercise in Women Attending Gestational Diabetes Services with an Examination of the Impact of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (#103)

Shamil D Cooray 1 2 , Helena J Teede 1 2 , Jacqueline A Boyle 1 3 , Carolyn A Allan 4 5 6 , Georgia Soldatos 1 2
  1. Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. Monash Women's Services, Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. Department of Endocrinology, Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  6. Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Increasing numbers of women born overseas are presenting for care of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). This pilot study sought to understand the attitudes towards diet, exercise and risk perception of future diabetes, with emphasis on women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Women who had recently been diagnosed with GDM were recruited (n=133) into 3 groups: 1) non-CALD women- born in Australia, English primary language (n= 52); 2) CALD women- born overseas, English primary language (ES-CALD, n= 55) and 3) CALD women- born overseas, English not primary language (NES-CALD, n= 26). Interpreters assisted participants in the NES-CALD group. The planned sample size of 500 was not achieved due to limitations in funding. Women were from 19 different countries of birth with 27 primary languages. Mean age was consistent across the groups (31.8± 5.1 years). NES-CALD women were less likely to identify their future risk of type 2 diabetes (77%) compared with ES-CALD (38%; p= 0.001) and non-CALD (37%; p= 0.001). Most NES-CALD women did not appreciate the benefit of a healthy diet on controlling blood glucose levels (62%), a greater proportion than ES-CALD (27%, p= 0.003) or non-CALD women (25%, p= 0.002). More women in the NES and ES-CALD groups cited lack of information as a barrier to a healthy diet (22% and 23%) compared to non-CALD women (6%, p=0.02 and 0.02, respectively). A greater proportion of women in both CALD groups also identified more information about healthier food choices (71% and 69%) and increased support from midwives and doctors (40% and 62%) as factors that would promote a healthier diet during pregnancy compared to non-CALD women (15% and 32% respectively, p≤0.002). These data demonstrate the need to better understand the specific education requirements of women attending GDM services, and the importance of developing ethnically, culturally and linguistically sensitive and appropriate education, support and treatment.