The psychosocial challenges associated with gestational diabetes mellitus: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Published:September 15, 2021DOI:


      • The psychosocial challenges of these women are divided into 5 categories.
      • Challenges are categorized into psychological, socio-cultural, information–communication, lifestyle, and health care challenges.



      Gestational diabetes is a disease with complex management that requires multidisciplinary collaboration. To achieve treatment goals, in addition to using medications and paying attention to exercise and diet, it is also important to take into account the mental health and psychosocial aspects of diabetes management. This study aimed to highlight these challenges associated with gestational diabetes.


      This qualitative systematic review involved a search of the following databases: CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. Title, abstract, and full-text screening was done using Covidence software, and quality assessment of the included papers was conducted using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Checklist. Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of the qualitative research statement (ENTREQ) was used in the design of this paper. Data synthesis was done using meta-aggregation method.


      Out of the 2440 articles searched, 24 were qualitatively analyzed. The CASP score of the included papers was optimal. The 514 findings extracted from the 24 studies were aggregated into five broad conceptual categories: psychological challenges, socio-cultural challenges, information–communication challenges, challenges associated with a lifestyle change, and challenges related to health care.


      Recognizing the psychosocial challenges associated with gestational diabetes and developing support packages tailored to psychosocial needs can help improve the management of these patients.


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