R21 approved to test novel approach to gestational diabetes treatment
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has awarded approximately $418,000, over the next two years, to Wanda Nicholson, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Diabetes and Obesity Core at the Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR) at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), for her study A Transgenerational e-Intervention for Gestational Diabetics and their Offspring.
The program centers around a multi-step web tool aimed at reducing the impact of gestational diabetes on both mother and child by providing perinatal and post-partum guidance.
“This is similar to Weight Watchers in that women have a series of web lessons that are tailored to guide them through what is occurring in their bodies during their pregnancies that could or could not be impacting the development of the infant,” Nicholson said. “After the delivery it focuses on developing healthy lifestyle behaviors that will potentially limit the development of type 2 diabetes after the delivery.”
A Transgenerational e-Intervention for Gestational Diabetics and their Offspring is designed as an interactive teaching tool. In addition to the web-based lessons animated videos guide expectant mothers through the mechanisms of a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes. Patients also have the ability to self-monitor their glucose and weight. The tool generates graphs to aid in progress visualization and sends text messages with reminders. Health educators will monitor a message board designed to allow study participants to interact with one another and ask questions about the program.
The goal of expectant mothers will be improved glucose control and appropriate weight gain with appropriate infant birth-weight. After the delivery moms will be guided through appropriate weight loss and glucose metabolism. Infants will be monitored for glucose as well as fat accumulation. Nicholson is hopeful that by their moms enrolling in this program and having better management of their weight that the babies will grow appropriately after delivery as well.
“We have a great team and an innovative project so I’m definitely excited about moving forward because I believe we can make a difference,” Nicholson said.
“In the current environment of reduced funding dollars I’m especially excited and thankful that we were able to receive the funding,” she added
The award of $228,000 in Year One is distributed between $150,000 in direct costs and $78,000 in facilities and administrative costs. Year Two’s $190,000 award consists of $125,000 of direct costs and $65,000 in facilities and administrative costs.
CWHR assisted Nicholson with the research proposal submission and will now support her through the administration of the awarded funds.
In addition to her extensive experience in obstetrics, gynecology and perinatal epidemiology Nicholson has previously developed a postpartum-specific weight loss intervention. Titled First WIND (Weight-loss Interventions after Delivery), the American Diabetes Association sponsored program was piloted among women in Baltimore City at-risk for type 2 diabetes.
A Transgenerational e-Intervention for Gestational Diabetics and their Offspring is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21DK095189. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.