The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1609-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Despite numerous publications stating the importance of multidisciplinary care for women with pre-existing medical conditions, there is a lack of evidence regarding structure or processes of multidisciplinary working, nor impact on maternal or infant outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the implementation of guidelines for multidisciplinary team (MDT) management in pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions. These conditions were selected as exemplars of increasingly common medical conditions in pregnancy for which MDT management is recommended to prevent or reduce adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.
National on-line survey sent to clinicians responsible for management or referral of women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions in UK National Health Service (NHS) maternity units. The survey comprised questions regarding the organisation of MDT management for women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions. Content was informed by national guidance.
One hundred seventy-nine responses were received, covering all health regions in England (162 responses) and 17 responses from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 132 (74%) related to women with diabetes and 123 (69%) to women with cardiac conditions. MDT referral was reportedly standard practice in most hospitals, particularly for women with pre-existing diabetes (88% of responses vs. 63% for cardiac) but there was wide variation in relation to MDT membership, timing of referral and working practices. These inconsistencies were evident within and between maternity units across the UK. Reported membership was medically dominated and often in the absence of midwifery/nursing and other allied health professionals. Less than half of MDTs for women with diabetes met the recommendations for membership in national guidance, and although two thirds of MDTs for women with cardiac disease met the core recommendations for membership, most did not report having the extended members: midwives, neonatologists or intensivists.
The wide diversity of organisational management for women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions is of concern and merits more detailed inquiry. Evidence is also required to support and better define the recommendations for MDT care.
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- Implementation of guidelines for multidisciplinary team management of pregnancy in women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions: results from a UK national survey
David R. McCance
Sara A. Thorne
Khaled M. K. Ismail
James S. A. Green
- BioMed Central
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