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Midwifery. 2018 Apr;59:23-26. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.12.019. Epub 2017 Dec 24.

Midwives understanding of physical activity guidelines during pregnancy.

Author information

1
University of Gloucestershire, Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences, Gloucester GL2 9HW9HW, United Kingdom. Electronic address: yhopkinson@glos.ac.uk.
2
Swansea University, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Wales, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Denise.Hill@swansea.ac.uk.
3
University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester WR2 6AJ, United Kingdom. Electronic address: lfellows@worc.ac.uk.
4
University of Gloucestershire, Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences, Gloucester GL2 9HW9HW, United Kingdom. Electronic address: sfryer@glos.ac.uk.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to examine the current level of understanding held by midwives regarding the NICE physical activity guidelines in the UK, and to investigate the physical activity guidance given to women during pregnancy.

DESIGN:

an 11 question online survey comprising of a mixture of closed and open ended questions.

SETTING:

data reflects participants sampled across the United Kingdom.

PARTICIPANTS:

fifty-nine midwives completed the online survey MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: an electronic survey was used to explore the midwives understanding of physical activity guidelines during pregnancy, and the advice they offered to women in their care. Qualitative content analysis was used to gain a more in-depth understanding of midwife knowledge. Two per cent of midwives correctly identified the physical activity guidelines, with 44% giving partially correct responses, 25% giving incorrect responses and 29% unsure of what the guidelines are. Despite the low level of correct responses, 59% of respondents reported they were confident or very confident in answering questions regarding physical activity. Only 4% of respondents reported having access to continual professional development (CPD) in the area of PA guidance.

KEY CONCLUSIONS:

there appears to be a misplaced confidence amongst midwives in their knowledge of the NICE PA guidelines for pregnancy.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

as physical inactivity can be detrimental for the health of both mother and baby, there is a clear need for better dissemination of the current and future NICE physical activity guidelines in primary health care settings. The current study determined a substantial lack of CPD in the area of PA guidance, which may be a contributing factor to the lack of knowledge of the guidelines. As such, increasing CPD may in turn improve the accuracy of the advice given to pregnant women and consequently benefit the health of both mother and baby.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise; Health professionals; Inactivity; Physical inactivity; Prenatal guideline

PMID:
29348051
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2017.12.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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