Effect of implementation of a preconception counselling resource for women with diabetes: A population based study


      • Pregnancy planning and pre-pregnancy care uptake is poor among women with diabetes.
      • Poor preconception counselling is linked to poor pre-pregnancy care uptake.
      • Implementation of a preconception counselling resource improved pregnancy planning.
      • Women who engaged with the resource were better prepared for pregnancy.
      • Women with type 2 diabetes, typically cared for in primary care, are hard to reach.



      To evaluate the effect of regional implementation of a preconception counselling resource into routine diabetes care on pregnancy planning indicators.


      A preconception counselling DVD was distributed to women by diabetes care teams and general practices. Subsequently, in a prospective population-based study, pregnancy planning indicators were evaluated. The post-DVD cohort (n = 135), including a viewed-DVD subgroup (n = 58), were compared with an historical cohort (pre-DVD, n = 114). Primary outcome was HbA1c at first diabetes-antenatal visit. Secondary outcomes included preconception folic acid consumption, planned pregnancy and HbA1c recorded in the 6 months preconception.


      Mean first visit HbA1c was lower post-DVD vs. pre-DVD: 7.5% vs. 7.8% [58.4 vs. 61.8 mmol/mol]; p = 0.12), although not statistically significant. 53% and 20% of women with type 1 and 2 diabetes, respectively, viewed the DVD. The viewed-DVD subgroup were significantly more likely to have lower first visit HbA1c: 6.9% vs. 7.8% [52.1 vs. 61.8 mmol/mol], P < 0.001; planned pregnancy (88% vs. 59%, P < 0.001); taken folic acid preconception (81% vs. 43%, P = 0.001); and had HbA1c recorded preconception (88% vs. 53%, P < 0.001) than the pre-DVD cohort.


      Implementation of a preconception counselling resource was associated with improved pregnancy planning indicators. Women with type 2 diabetes are difficult to reach. Greater awareness within primary care of the importance of preconception counselling among this population is needed.


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