Reducing weight and BMI following gestational diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of digital and telemedicine interventions

Julia Halligan, Maxine Whelan, Nia Roberts, Andrew Farmer

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    38 Downloads (Pure)


    Women with past gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at risk of subsequent type 2 diabetes and adverse cardiovascular events. Digital and telemedicine interventions targeting weight loss and reductions in body mass index (BMI) may help reduce risk for women with GDM. The aim was to compare the effectiveness of digital or telemedicine intervention with usual care. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were identified in Embase, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library. Included trials recruited women with prior GDM but without pre-existing diabetes, and tested a digital or telemedicine intervention with or without an in-person component. Data extraction was carried out independently by two authors. The search yielded 898 citations. Eighteen articles reporting 15 trials were included, of which 8 tested digital interventions. Reported outcomes included weight, BMI, fasting plasma glucose and waist circumference. None of the included trials reported type 2 diabetes incidence or cardiovascular risk. Data were pooled using a random-effects model. The point estimate favored the intervention but was non-significant for both BMI (-0.90 kg/m2, 95% CI -1.89 to 0.09; p=0.08) and weight (-1.83 kg, 95% CI -4.08 to 0.42, p=0.11). Trials evaluating digital and telemedicine interventions identified clinically relevant, but non-significant improvements in BMI and weight compared with control. No trials assessed type 2 diabetes occurrence as an outcome. More well-designed RCTs with adequate power and long-term follow-up are needed to identify the impact of these interventions on type 2 diabetes occurrence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere002077
    Number of pages10
    JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
    This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:


    • diabetes
    • gestational
    • meta-analysis
    • telemedicine

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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