Scientists are calling on women, their families and healthcare professionals to help them make sure future research meets their needs.
Around 38,000 women who give birth in the UK each year have some form of diabetes. While many women have healthy babies, we know that diabetes can increase the risk of complications for the mother and baby – both during pregnancy and later in life.
Despite this, there is still a lot we don’t know about diabetes and pregnancy. Scientists across the UK, led by the University of Oxford, want to change this. They want to find the key research questions that are most important to people with diabetes – both before, during and after pregnancy.
Dr Goher Ayman is leading the project and is based at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. She said: “We want to work with women, their support networks, and healthcare professionals to identify uncertainties about the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and health impacts of pregnancy with diabetes of any type.
“We are currently inviting people to tell us their questions about diabetes and pregnancy by completing our survey. Their questions will be used to produce a shortlist of priority research topics.”
Over the next 18 months, the team will work with women, their families and healthcare professionals to reach a top ten list of priority research questions, which will be shared with the research community and funders of health research.
To find out more and take part, go to www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/jla-psp.
Sonya Carnell was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after the birth of her first child.
“Despite having a family history of diabetes, I wasn’t aware of the risks relating to diabetes and pregnancy. Once I had been diagnosed, I read a lot about it and asked lots of questions, but I still found that there was a lack of information. I hope that by involving those with direct experience of the issue, this project will help to direct funding to the unanswered questions that affect me and many other women.”
The team are following a process developed by the James Lind Alliance, an initiative that aims to help direct research funding towards the issues that matter most to patients and clinicians.