Obstetric patients and healthcare providers perspectives to inform mobile app design for physical activity and weight control during pregnancy and postpartum in a rural setting

Rachel Tinius, Cathryn Duchette, Sia Beasley, Maire Blankenship, Nancy Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Mobile health technology offers the opportunity for women to engage with physical activity promotion programs without many of the barriers commonly associated with exercise during and after pregnancy (eg, childcare concerns, rigid schedules, fear of doing harm to fetus or self, access to fitness facilities, uncomfortable with body in front of others) which may be particularly useful in under-resourced rural environments. We conducted the first known study on perspectives of pregnant women, postpartum women, and obstetric healthcare providers in a rural setting on needs related to the development of a mobile app designed to increase physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum. Methods: Focus groups and in-depth face-to-face personal interviews were conducted with 14 pregnant women, 13 postpartum women, and 11 healthcare providers in a rural commu-nity. Semi-structured questions utilizing constructs of the Health Belief Model were used to identify barriers, facilitators, and other influences on physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum. Recordings of all in-depth interviews and focus groups were transcribed and standard content analyses for qualitative data were conducted. Results: Rural women and healthcare providers expressed several key perspectives about and recommendations to promote physical activity during and after pregnancy. Broadly, these perspectives encapsulated two main themes: 1) physical activity as critical for weight control and 2) the need for evidence-based exercise information. Key desired features of this app identified include goal setting/progress tracking, evidence-based exercise guidance tailored to specific time points of pregnancy and postpartum, social support via community-based forum, symptom tracking, time-efficient workouts, and push notifications. Conclusion: The perspectives identified by participants should be utilized when designing mobile health physical activity mobile apps for pregnant and postpartum women in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-432
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the NIGMS-funded Institutional Development A ward (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) in Kentucky (P20GM 103436).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Tinius et al.

Keywords

  • App
  • Exercise
  • MHealth
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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