Perceived determinants of physical activity among women with prior severe preeclampsia: a qualitative assessment

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Background: The objective of this study was to (1) qualitatively identify the perceived determinants of physical activity among women who have experienced severe preeclampsia, and (2) examine whether these determinants are consistent with the overarching processes outlined in the integrated behavior change (IBC) model, a novel model that describes physical activity as being a result of motivational, volitional, and automatic processes. Methods: Patients (n = 35) of the Follow-Up PreEClampsia (FUPEC) Outpatient Clinic, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands, participated in an anonymous online survey. The main outcomes under study were their perceived determinants of physical activity. Responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Thirteen themes emerged from the analysis. Six themes corresponded with motivational processes (future health, perceived ability, attitude, future reward or regret, physical appearance, and doing it for others), two with volitional processes (scheduling and planning), and two with automatic processes (affect and stress). Three themes were classified as environmental factors (time constraint, social support, and physical environment). Conclusions: A range of facilitating and hindering factors were described by women with prior severe preeclampsia as the determinants of their physical activity. These factors corresponded well with the overarching motivational, volitional, and automatic processes described in the IBC model. In addition, motivational and environmental factors beyond the IBC model were described. Addressing these perceived determinants could enhance the efficacy of physical activity interventions in this population. Tweetable abstract: Motivational, volitional, automatic, and environmental factors drive physical activity in women with prior severe preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
JournalBMC Women's Health
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study was funded by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Smarter Choices for Better Health Initiative (Action Line Prevention), Grant No. 108348.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).


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