Beliefs, barriers, social support, and environmental influences related to diabetes risk behaviours among women with a history of gestational diabetes

Husna Razee, Hidde P. Van Der Ploeg, Ilse Blignault, Ben J. Smith, Adrian E. Bauman, Mark McLean, N. Wah Cheung

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Issue addressed: Women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes; this risk is higher in non-Caucasian women. This study explored the beliefs, attitudes, social support, environmental influences and other factors related to diabetes risk behaviours among Arabic, Cantonese/Mandarin, and English speaking women with recent GDM. Methods: Women living in the Sydney metropolitan area (Australia) who had GDM 6-36 months previously were included. In-depth semi-structured telephone interviews on women's experiences and perceptions of GDM and the lifestyle risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes were conducted in the language participants spoke at home (n=20 Arabic, 20 Cantonese/Mandarin, 17 English). Data were analysed for underlying themes using NVivo software. Results: Mental distress, role perceptions, social support and cultural expectations were major issues related to women's struggles to find the right balance between the large proportion of household and child care responsibilities and leading a healthy lifestyle. Conclusion: Women's ability to follow a healthy lifestyle is embedded in their psychological wellbeing and the social and cultural context of their lives. The study highlights the need for a holistic approach that ensures personal support and access to services as well as lifestyle specific programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Diabetes prevention
  • Ethnicity
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative research

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