How pregnant women with diabetes experience telemonitoring of the fetal heart rate – An interview study

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Abstract

Objectives
The use of telemonitoring in healthcare is generally increasing. Women with complicated pregnancies are using telemonitoring as an alternative to conventional management, encompassing hospitalization or frequent outpatient clinic visits. However, there is sparse evidence on how pregnant women experience monitoring of their unborn babies at home. Women might feel uncomfortable with this responsibility, and moreover they might miss face-to-face contact with healthcare personnel.
Study design
The study setting was a Danish hospital with a tertiary obstetric unit attending approximately 3400 births annually. A qualitative study design with interview as method included 11 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes or Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. This design was used to investigate how pregnant women with complicated pregnancies experienced telemonitoring of the fetus. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyze the pregnant women’s experiences of telemonitoring.
Results
Women with type 1 diabetes or Gestational Diabetes Mellitus found the advantages of telemonitoring to outweigh the disadvantages. They experienced telemonitoring as time-saving and that telemonitoring decreased the level of stress. Moreover, telemonitoring supports positive collaboration with healthcare professionals.
The women also experienced a lack of coordination of consultations between different departments at the hospital and challenges with timing, feedback, and technical issues. Moreover, the women requested an opportunity to discuss family formation and emotions.
Conclusions
Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes or Gestational Diabetes Mellitus benefit from the use of telemonitoring. To further improve the implementation and use of telemonitoring clinical implications, consider how timing and coordination of care, technical equipment, and feedback mechanisms could be improved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume298
Issue numberJuly
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
ISSN0301-2115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • health, nutrition and quality of life

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