Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Nursing Honours


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Supervisor

Judith Davis


Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus in later life. A lifestyle which includes healthy eating habits, weight control, regular exercise, and stress management has been associated with preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes mellitus and its associated complications. To care for themselves women require educati9n about and knowledge of strategies that have been associated with preventing diabetes. An essential part of education is knowledge assessment Women with GDM have been largely overlooked in the development of instruments to measure knowledge of diabetes. Orem's general theory of nursing guided this research. Orem asserts that self care is necessary to maintain health and well-being and that it is the role of nurses to assist individuals to self care. Nurses assess individuals' needs and identify self care deficits. Knowledge deficits may be identified with the use of questionnaires. This study used a methodological design to develop a questionnaire to assess knowledge in women who have been diagnosed with GDM and to establish the questionnaire's validity and reliability. The questionnaire assessed women's knowledge of their potential for developing diabetes and lifestyle factors that are associated with reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Content validity was established by health professionals involved with caring for women with GDM and a biostatistician. Evidence of construct validity was provided using a contrasted groups approach. The questionnaire was distributed to 62 women. Thirty one women who had been diagnosed with GDM and who had received diabetes education formed the GDM group. The non GDM group was comprised of 31 women who had not been diagnosed with GDM. A paired t-test was performed on the total scores from the two groups. The score from the GDM group (M = 15.9) was significantly higher than the non GDM group score (M = 12.4), t(30) = 2.54, p