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Developing a lifestyle intervention program for overweight or obese preconception, pregnant and postpartum women using qualitative methods.

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Ku, Chee Wai 
Leow, Shu Hui 
Ong, Lay See 
Erwin, Christina 
Ong, Isabella 


The time period before, during and after pregnancy represents a unique opportunity for interventions to cultivate sustained healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve the metabolic health of mothers and their offspring. However, the success of a lifestyle intervention is dependent on uptake and continued compliance. To identify enablers and barriers towards engagement with a lifestyle intervention, thematic analysis of 15 in-depth interviews with overweight or obese women in the preconception, pregnancy or postpartum periods was undertaken, using the integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework as a guide to systematically chart factors influencing adoption of a novel lifestyle intervention. Barrier factors include time constraints, poor baseline knowledge, family culture, food accessibility, and lack of relevant data sources. Enabling factors were motivation to be healthy for themselves and their offspring, family and social support, a holistic delivery platform providing desired information delivered at appropriate times, regular feedback, goal setting, and nudges. From the findings of this study, we propose components of an idealized lifestyle intervention including (i) taking a holistic life-course approach to education, (ii) using mobile health platforms to reduce barriers, provide personalized feedback and promote goal-setting, and (iii) health nudges to cultivate sustained lifestyle habits.



Adult, Behavior Therapy, Body Mass Index, Diet, Healthy, Exercise, Female, Goals, Healthy Lifestyle, Humans, Motivational Interviewing, Obesity, Maternal, Postpartum Period, Preconception Care, Pregnancy, Qualitative Research, Social Support, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Medical Research Council (NMRC/MOH-000596-00, NMRC/CG/M003/2017)