Methods: The study aims to optimise the programme interventions and estimate their impact on pregnancy preparation, pre-pregnancy care uptake and pregnancy outcomes. To evaluate this multimodal intervention, we will use a multi-method research design following Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) theory, refining the interventions iteratively during the study. Thirty GP practices with ≥ 25 women with T2DM of reproductive age (18–45 years) from two South London boroughs will be exposed to the intervention. This will provide > 750 women with an estimated pregnancy incidence of 80–100 to study. The research involves: a clinical audit of processes and outcomes; a process evaluation informing intervention feasibility, implementation, and behaviour change; and a cost-consequences analysis informing future economic evaluation. Performance data will be collected via audits of GP systems, hospital antenatal clinics and pregnancy outcomes. Following CAS theory, we will use repeated measurements to monitor intervention impact on pregnancy preparation markers at 4-monthly intervals over 18-months. We will use performance and feasibility data to optimise intervention effects iteratively. The target performance for the intervention is a 30% increase in the proportion of women meeting pre-pregnancy care criteria.
Discussion: The primary output will be development of an integrated programme of interventions to improve pregnancy preparation, pre-pregnancy care uptake, and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with T2DM. We will also develop an implementation plan to support the introduction of the interventions across the NHS.
- Complex adaptive systems
- Pre-pregnancy care
- Primary care
- Type 2 diabetes