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Physical activity in pregnant women with Class III obesity: A qualitative exploration of attitudes and behaviours

Denison, Fiona C; Weir, Z; Carver, Hannah; Norman, J E; Reynolds, R M


Fiona C Denison

Z Weir

Hannah Carver

J E Norman

R M Reynolds



to explore the barriers and facilitators to physical activity and lifestyle interventions in pregnant women with Class III obesity (body mass index >40 kg/m2).


qualitative study using in-depth, semi-structure interviews framed by the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted using a topic guide. Data analysis was undertaken using a Framework Approach and was informed by the theory of planned behaviour. Recruitment and analysis continued until data saturation was reached.


participants were recruited from an antenatal clinic for women with Class III obesity.


pregnant women (n=13) with Class III obesity.

Measurements and outcomes

three major themes emerged from the data analysis: having a healthy lifestyle awareness, complex barriers to lifestyle changes and having personalised solutions to promote healthy lifestyle. Women were aware of the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy but had complex barriers to engaging with activity.

Conclusions and implications for practice

future lifestyle interventions for women with Class III in pregnancy should take into account individual, societal and support barriers towards weight management and lifestyle choices in pregnancy. Programs that provide personalised support which are sensitive to the specific physical and psychological needs of women with Class III obesity which focus on the benefits and safety of physical activity for both mother and baby may be more likely to be successful. Further research is needed to explore the feasibility and acceptability of tailored programs.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2015
Publication Date 2015-12
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2015
Print ISSN 0266-6138
Electronic ISSN 1532-3099
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 12
Pages 1163-1167
Keywords Pregnancy; Class III obesity; Physical activity; Obstetrics;
Public URL
Publisher URL

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