Excuses, excuses, excuses: What are the barriers to participating in an antenatal physical activity intervention?



Currie S, Dunwoody L, Sinclair M, Liddle D, Murphy MH & Madden E (2015) Excuses, excuses, excuses: What are the barriers to participating in an antenatal physical activity intervention?. Health Psychology Update, 24 (1), pp. 8-15.

Background: Recruitment into obesity and inactivity trials during pregnancy helps researchers to understand and improve health behaviour. Knowledge of reasons for non-participation could enhance recruitment into such interventions and is the main focus of this paper. Methods: Data were generated from an antenatal physical activity (PA) RCT. During antenatal booking appointments, women who met the inclusion criteria were invited to a recruitment evening. Numbers invited, those expressing an interest in taking part and those attending were recorded. Reasons for non-interest or attendance were noted and analysed using content analysis. Findings: Over 36 weeks, 659 primigravidae women attended booking appointments, 418 were deemed eligible for the RCT, 257 (62 per cent) registered interest, and 109 (26 per cent) attended. Reasons for not registering interest included: no interest; unable to attend; no time. Those who registered interest but did not attend gave reasons for non-participation as work commitments, sickness and time constraints. Discussion: Problems associated with recruitment and participation into clinical trials involving PA are often not reported. The main barriers in this study were a lack of interest, time and sickness. Although sickness is unavoidable, time commitments, a common barrier to PA for sedentary individuals, needs to be addressed when recruiting to PA trials.

trial recruitment; pregnant women

Health Psychology Update: Volume 24, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2015
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Publisher URL…spring-2015.html

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Dr Sinead Currie

Dr Sinead Currie

Lecturer, Psychology