Background

Because much of diabetes management during pregnancy occurs at home, self-management factors such as self-efficacy, self-care activities, and care satisfaction may affect glycemia. Our objective was to explore trends in glycemic control during pregnancy in women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes; assess self-efficacy, self-care, and care satisfaction; and examine these factors as predictors of glycemic control.

Methods

We conducted a cohort study from April 2014 to November 2019 at a tertiary center in Ontario, Canada. Self-efficacy, self-care, care satisfaction, and A1C were measured three times during pregnancy (T1, T2, and T3). Linear mixed-effects modeling explored trends in A1C and examined self-efficacy, self-care, and care satisfaction as predictors of A1C.

Results

We recruited 111 women (55 with type 1 diabetes and 56 with type 2 diabetes). Mean A1C significantly decreased by 1.09% (95% CI −1.38 to −0.79) from T1 to T2 and by 1.14% (95% CI −1.43 to −0.86) from T1 to T3. Self-efficacy significantly predicted glycemic control for women with type 2 diabetes and was associated with a mean change in A1C of −0.22% (95% CI −0.42 to −0.02) per unit increase in scale. The exercise subscore of self-care significantly predicted glycemic control for women with type 1 diabetes and was associated with a mean change in A1C of −0.11% (95% CI −0.22 to −0.01) per unit increase in scale.

Conclusion

Self-efficacy significantly predicted A1C during pregnancy in a cohort of women with preexisting diabetes in Ontario, Canada. Future research will continue to explore the self-management needs and challenges in women with preexisting diabetes in pregnancy.

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