Background. Screening and timely treatment of gestational hyperglycaemia (GH) is proved to be beneficial and improves maternal and foetal health outcomes. To understand screening practices, we explored the knowledge and perceptions of doctors working in public health facilities in Bangalore, India. We also studied participation factors by examining whether undergoing glucose estimation tests affects morning sickness in pregnant women.
Design and Methods. We aimed to understand the screening practices and knowledge of doctors. A semi-structured questionnaire was self-administered by the 50 participant doctors, selected from the sampling frame comprising of all the doctors working in public health facilities. We included 105 pregnant women for baseline assessment, in whom a well-structured questionnaire was used.
Results. We reported that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) screening was done in nearly all the health centres (96%). However, only 12% of the doctors could provide all components of GDM diagnosis and management correctly and 46% would diagnose by using a random blood glucose test. A majority (92%) of the doctors had poor knowledge (68%) about the cut-off values of glucose tests. More than 80% of pregnant women experienced some discomfort mostly due to rapid ingestion glucose in short span of time.
Conclusions. Our study established that screening for GH is done in most public health facilities. Nonetheless, knowledge of doctors on the glucose tests and their interpretation needs improvement. Re-orientation trainings of the doctors can improve their knowledge and thereby can efficiently screen for GH. Further, adequate planning prior to the tests can aid successful completion of them.