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J Fam Health Care. 2003;13(2):44-8.

"Mad for Fitness": an exercise group to combat a high incidence of postnatal depression.

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Birkenhead and Wallasey Primary Care Trust.


Health visitors working in a socially and economically deprived area of the Wirral, Merseyside wanted to find innovative ways to address the high incidence of postnatal depression in their caseloads. Believing that exercise may have a beneficial effect on depression, they set up a project to make fitness activities more affordable and available to their client base. After an initial survey of local mothers had indicated support, a pilot "swim, gym and crèche" scheme was set up in a Leisure Centre in partnership with other agencies. The response from the pilot group was positive and suggested that the participants were benefiting mentally and physically from the exercise and the social aspects of the group. Parents began to take a greater part in running the group and funding was obtained to continue the scheme. Further evaluation is in progress and there are plans to replicate the scheme in other areas of the local Primary Care Trust.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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