Knowledge and Attitudes on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and its Associated Factors among a Selected Population of Pregnant Mothers Attending Antenatal Clinics in Mathugama, Western Province of Sri Lanka
Introduction: Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) has become an emerging metabolic disorder around the world leading to type 2 diabetes mellitus in two generations, including the mother and the offspring. Complications associated with GDM can be prevented by proper management of the disease. This study aimed to assess knowledge and attitudes on GDM and its associated factors in a selected population of pregnant mothers in Sri Lanka. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among eight antenatal clinics in the Mathugama Medical Officer of Health (MOH) area, Sri Lanka. Pregnant mothers of less than 20 weeks of gestation (n=150) attending the above clinics were selected by convenience sampling. A pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument. The SPSS version 23 was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics, visual binning, independent sample t-test and bivariate correlation were used as statistical tools. Results: Only 4.7% of participants had developed GDM previously. The mean gestational age of the study participants was 12±5 weeks. The mean percentage knowledge score regarding GDM was 36.1±23.3%. Only 20.0% had good knowledge and 35.3% had poor knowledge about GDM. Age (p=0.017), level of education (p=0.024), history of GDM (p=0.033), and family history of diabetes mellitus (p=0.025) had significant associations with the knowledge on GDM. In addition, positive correlations were found between the mean knowledge score for GDM and gestational age (p=0.001), and the gravidity (p=0.018) of the participants (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Only a minority of the study group (20.0%) had good knowledge about GDM while, more than 50.0% of the participants showed positive attitude towards the management of GDM. Therefore, taking measures to enhance the pregnant mothers’ knowledge regarding GDM is a timely and important action that ultimately leads to healthy pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus, Pregnant mothers, Knowledge, Attitudes, Associated factors