The effect of an adapted physical activity intervention for pregnant women during childbirth preparation classes: preliminary results from the well-done! study
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Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna Italy
Department for Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1145
Background and objectives:
Regular physical activity (pa) during pregnancy is beneficial for mothers and fetuses. The world health organization recommends that healthy pregnant and post-partum women should perform at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity pa. Unfortunately, less than 15% of pregnant women reach these recommendations. The aim of this study is to co-design an adapted physical activity intervention (apai) for pregnant women to include in childbirth preparation classes (cpcs) and evaluate its feasibility and efficacy in terms of pa levels and other outcomes.

This was a quasi-experimental study designed in collaboration with pregnat women and midwives using focus groups. kinesiologists and midwives conducted the intervention at the st. Orsola-malpighi hospital, bologna, (italy). During cpcs, the experimental group (eg) performed 1 h of pa administered by midwives and co-supervised by kinesiologists for 6 weeks, while the control group (cg) received a one hour lesson about pa recommendation in pregnancy. Pa levels were assessed using the pregnancy physical activity questionnaire (ppaq) at the baseline and at the end of the intervention. Statistical analysis was performed using spss.18.

We enrolled 77 women (mean age 34.8±4.3) from november 2021 to may 2022. Preliminary results from 60 participants showed that the ppaq for total activity significantly improved in the eg after 6 weeks (Δtotal-activity=13.74±29.65, p value=0.04), slightly raising in the cg but not significantly (Δtotal-activity=3.47±40.76, p value=0.59). Notably, moderate activity significantly improved in eg (Δmoderate-activity=7.96±16.97 p value=0.04), while worsened in cg (Δmoderate- activity=-4.13±24.53, p value=0.29). However, there was no statistically significant difference between groups.

Preliminary findings suggest that introducing apai in cpcs improves pa levels in pregnat women. A multidisciplinary cooperation between health professionals is crucial in health promotion interventions.