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Type: Journal article
Title: Creating healthy change in the preconception period for women with overweight or obesity: a qualitative study using the information-motivation-behavioural skills model
Author: Scott, J.
Oxlad, M.
Dodd, J.
Szabo, C.
Deussen, A.
Turnbull, D.
Citation: Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2020; 9(10):1-20
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2077-0383
Statement of
Jodie Scott, Melissa Oxlad, Jodie Dodd2, Claudia Szabo, Andrea Deussen and Deborah Turnbull
Abstract: Worldwide, half of women begin a pregnancy with overweight or obesity, which increases the risk of pregnancy and birth complications and adversely affects the lifelong health of the offspring. In order for metabolic changes to influence the gestational environment, research suggests that weight loss should take place before conception. This study aimed to understand women's emotional and social contexts, knowledge, motivations, skills and self-efficacy in making healthy change. Semi-structured interviews conducted with twenty-three women with overweight or obesity, informed by the Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) model, were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Information-related themes identified included poor health risk knowledge, healthy food decisions and health versus convenience. The Motivation themes comprised taking responsibility, flexible options, social expectations, interpersonal challenges and accountability. Behavioural Skills entailed themes such as the mental battle, time management, self-care and inspiration. An environmental factor was identified in affordability-limiting access to healthier alternatives. Women wanted simple, flexible options that considered family commitments, time and budgetary constraints. Unprompted, several mentioned the importance of psychological support in managing setbacks, stress and maintaining motivation. Strategies for enhancing self-efficacy and motivational support are required to enable longstanding health behaviour change. Findings will inform intervention mapping development of an eHealth solution for women preconception.
Keywords: behaviour change
healthy lifestyle
maternal health
weight management
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9103351
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Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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