Improving the exercise behaviour of pregnant women in Thailand: a mixed methods feasibility study

Klankhajhon, Sirikanok (2018) Improving the exercise behaviour of pregnant women in Thailand: a mixed methods feasibility study. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia .

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Obesity and overweight (O&O) is a serious global health problem. The prevalence of
O&O worldwide is an increasing cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Exercise
during pregnancy can increase physical fitness, decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases and
control gestational weight gain (GWG). Currently, antenatal care clinics in Thailand do not
have routine exercise programmes for pregnant women. The objectives are to determine the
acceptability of an exercise programme based on Thai Government guidance for exercise in
pregnancy, to access preliminary effects and explore the experiences of participants engaged
in an exercise programme and their healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) opinions of the
A total of 61 women between 12-16 weeks gestation participated in the mixed
methods feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT). They were randomly allocated to the
exercise intervention (n = 31) or control group (n = 30) over 10 weeks. Baseline measures
were collected before intervention and preliminary effects data after completion of
intervention and two weeks after expected date of delivery. Ten women were interviewed and
four HCPs attended a focus group at two weeks after the intervention’s completion.
Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) showed the exercise group had lower GWG than
control group after controlling for maternal age, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI),
gestational age, and baby birth weight (p <.001). The study indicated significant increases
over time in physical activity after controlling for maternal age, and pre-pregnancy BMI
(p <.001). Thematic analysis of the qualitative interviews, identified four themes: exercise is
easier than I think, I want to become a modern mum, doubts and concerns at the beginning,
and I get active and keep up with exercise until childbirth. The exercise programme was
acceptable to women. The study demonstrated feasibility of conducting a larger RCT with an
intervention to improve exercise behaviour in pregnant women.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Zoe White
Date Deposited: 22 May 2019 15:17
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 15:17

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