November 12th, 2018

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Patterns of Preconception, Prenatal and Postnatal Care for Diabetic Women by Obstetrician-Gynecologists
Authors:  Michael L. Power, Ph.D., Ellen K. Wilson, Ph.D., Sean O. Hogan, Ph.D., John D. Loft, Ph.D., Jennifer L. Williams, M.S.N., M.P.H., Patricia W. Mersereau, M.N., and Jay Schulkin, Ph.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To assess barriers to and quality of care received by diabetic pregnant women from obstetrician-gynecologists.

STUDY DESIGN: A questionnaire was mailed to 1,000 representative practicing Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 74 did not treat pregnant patients and 510 (55.1%) returned completed surveys. Respondents were divided into 3 groups: maternal-fetal medicine specialists, physicians with high minority/low insurance patient populations, and physicians with low minority/ high insurance patient populations.

RESULTS: Reported preconception and prenatal care was generally consistent with guidelines. Regarding gestational diabetes mellitus patients the 3 physician groups differed in assessing postpartum glycemic status, counseling about lifestyle changes, and counseling patients to consult a doctor before their next pregnancy. Patient demographics and perceived barriers to care were similar between maternal-fetal medicine specialists and physicians with high minority/low insurance patient populations. These two physician groups were more likely to agree that lack of educational materials, arranging specialist referrals, patient compliance with recommendations, and patientsí ability to afford healthful food were barriers to quality care.

CONCLUSION: According to physician self-report, pregnant diabetic patients with access to an obstetrician receive quality care regardless of insurance status. Postpartum care is more variable. Physicians with high minority/low insurance patient populations may lack access to resources.
Keywords:  clinical care, diabetes, pregnancy
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