OBJECTIVE--To ascertain the strategies used by primary-care physicians for treating pregestational and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy, because many women with pregnancies complicated by these types of diabetes are treated by physicians who have no special training in intensive diabetes management. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-- Two hundred twenty-four family-practice (FP) physicians and 184 obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) physicians were surveyed by mail. RESULTS--When compared with OB/GYNs, FPs were less likely to screen all pregnant women for GDM (P = 0.03), use multiple-injection insulin regimens (P = 0.004) or self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) (P = 0.01) for Pre-GDM patients, and refer these patients to a specialist for medical (P = 0.01) or ophthalmologic (P less than 0.001) care. FPs were more likely to implement insulin therapy (P = 0.003), SMBG (P = 0.02), and examine eyes for retinopathy (P less than 0.001) when treating gestational patients. CONCLUSIONS--These data show that there are considerable discrepancies between the strategies used by FPs and OB/GYNs and also suggest that physicians in both groups are under- utilizing recommended treatment strategies described in publications targeted specifically to primary-care physicians. Increased exposure to and dissemination of guidelines for diabetes management and additional medical school and postgraduate education programs are recommended as methods to improve utilization of these strategies.
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