Women's experiences of being screened for gestational diabetes mellitus


  • Alice R Rumbold BSc (Hons) PhD Candidate, Caroline A Crowther MD FRANZCOG FRCOG CMFM Associate Professor Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Address for correspondence
Assoc Prof Caroline Crowther,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road
North Adelaide
South Australia 5006 Australia




To assess if women screening positive for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) will experience a reduction in their quality of life.


Prospective survey.


Level III teaching hospital with a high-risk pregnancy service and neonatal intensive care unit.


Pregnant women prior to being screened for GDM, after screening and late in pregnancy.


Women were surveyed using the six-item short-form of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Short Form 36 Item Health Survey.

Further questions asked about the mother's perception of health and the concern the mother felt for the health of her unborn child, the adequacy of information given about the screening tests and its results, adequacy of information about the results of the diagnostic OGTT and women's overall experiences of being screened.

Main outcome measures

Anxiety, depression, health status, concerns about the health of the baby and perceived health.


After screening, women screening positive for GDM had lower health perceptions (p < 0.05), were less likely to rate their health as ‘much better than one year ago’ (p < 0.05) and were more likely to only rate their health as ‘fair’ rather than ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ when compared with women screening negative (p < 0.01). No differences were found in levels of anxiety, depression or the concern women felt about the health of their baby.


Screening for GDM had an adverse impact on women's perceptions of their own health.