Clinically relevant improvements achieved from a facilitated implementation of a gestational diabetes model of care

Shelley A. Wilkinson*, Sally J. McCray, Alison Kempe, Bernadette Sellwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Medical nutrition therapy is a cornerstone treatment in gestational diabetes; however, most Australian women diagnosed with gestational diabetes do not receive this. The project evaluated adaptation of a successful evidence-based gestational diabetes model of care implementation from a tertiary centre into regional sites with varied demographics, population size and service capacity. Methods: The project used a hub (project team)-spoke (sites) model in Far North Queensland (Site 1) and regional South-East Queensland (Site 2). Sites selected demonstrated strong gestational diabetes team cohesiveness and project commitment. The project phases were consultation, baseline, transition and implementation. A best practice decision tree tool was provided to assess/manage barriers to the model of care and clinical outcomes captured through a project database. Results: Role clarification of site members, management engagement, site visits, decision tree and database refinement were completed in the project's first phase. Unexpected organisational and team barriers prevented timeline implementation as planned. Sites negotiated relevant reallocation of resources to achieve project deliverables. The proportion of women seen according to best practice increased from 3.5 to 87.8% (P < 0.001) (Site 1) and nil to 4.8% (P = 0.09) (Site 2), and those on medication dropped by 3.4 (Site 1) and 9.1% (Site 2). Conclusions: This project demonstrates a successful implementation using a facilitated and rigorous approach. Support, engagement and tools at many levels were keys to success at both sites. The present study illustrates the opportunities and challenges of conducting implementation research within routine clinical care, particularly in resource-challenged sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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