The Effect of Self-care Training on Perceived Stress, Health Literacy, and Self-care Behaviors in Women with Gestational Diabetes

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Prof, Dept of Educational Sciences, Zahedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zahedan, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Student, Dept of Psychology, Zahedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zahedan, Iran.


Introduction: Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health problems during pregnancy that sometimes can lead to disability, death, and type 2 diabetes. Self-care training is one of the effective methods to improve health-related characteristics. Accordingly, the present study aims to determine the effect of self-care training on perceived stress, health literacy, and self-care behaviors in women with gestational diabetes.
Materials and Methods: The present study was semi-experimental with pretest-posttest design with experimental and control groups. The research population was women with gestational diabetes referred to health and care centers of Zahedan city in 2019, from whom 50 people were selected by the available sampling method. Those selected were assigned to two equal groups via a simple random method with a lottery. The experimental group received 6 60-minute sessions of self-care training, and the control group did not receive any except for routine training. Research instruments were the questionnaires of perceived stress, health literacy, and self-care behaviors. Data were analyzed using the chi-square test, independent t-test, and multivariate analysis of covariance.
Results: The experimental and control groups in the pretest stage showed no significant difference in terms of perceived stress, health literacy, and self-care behaviors (p>0/05); however, in the posttest stage, there was a significant difference in three mentioned variables (p<0/001). In other words, the self-care training method led to a significant decrease in perceived stress and a significant increase in health literacy and self-care behaviors in women with gestational diabetes (p<0/001).
Conclusion: The results indicate the positive effect of self-care training on decreasing perceived stress and increasing health literacy and self-care behaviors. Therefore, it is essential to plan diabetes self-care training for women with gestational diabetes and even those who intend to become pregnant to improve health-related characteristics.


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