Eat Well Keep Active: Qualitative findings from a feasibility and acceptability study of a brief midwife led intervention to facilitate healthful dietary and physical activity behaviours in pregnant women

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Warren, Lucie ; Rance, Jaynie ; Hunter, Billie (2017)

Background: Overweight and obesity in the pregnant population is increasing and this is\ud a public health concern. Many women have difficulty in following the recommendation\ud to maintain a healthy diet and to keep active, indeed some identify pregnancy as the\ud start of their concern with being overweight.\ud Objective: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of the ‘Eat Well Keep Active’\ud intervention programme designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity in\ud pregnant women. This brief midwife led intervention was based upon the Self\ud Determination Theory (SDT) framework and utilised Motivational Interviewing and\ud individualised goal setting.\ud Design: This was a prospective qualitative study to explore women’s views on the\ud acceptability and perceived efficacy of the ‘Eat Well Keep Active’ programme obtained\ud through one-to-one interviews 6 weeks after the delivery of the intervention. Data\ud were also analysed to assess fidelity of the intervention to the psychological constructs\ud of SDT; autonomy, competence and relatedness.\ud Setting: Wales, UK\ud \ud Participants: Pregnant women suitable for Midwife Led Care and therefore deemed to be\ud ‘low risk’ were recruited from a large maternity unit in South Wales (n=20).\ud Findings: The results indicated that the ‘Eat Well Keep Active’ intervention programme\ud was well received by participants who reported that it positively influenced their health\ud behaviours. There was clear evidence of the intervention supporting the three SDT\ud psychological needs.\ud Key Conclusions: The Eat Well Keep Active intervention was designed to be\ud incorporated into existing antenatal provision and findings from this study have\ud demonstrated its feasibility. The brief midwife led intervention based on SDT was found to be acceptable by the participants who embraced the opportunity to discuss and explore their lifestyle behaviours with a midwife.\ud Implications for practice: Theoretically designed interventions that can facilitate women to pursue a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy are lacking and the ‘Eat Well Keep Active’ programme has the potential to address this. Further research is needed in order to assess the acceptability of the intervention to midwives and other groups of pregnant women prior to assessing its efficacy in changing and maintaining healthful behaviours.
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