BACKGROUND: Physical activity (PA) during pregnancy is associated with a variety of health benefits including a reduced risk of pregnancy related conditions such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension and leads to greater control over gestational weight gain. Despite these associated health benefits, very few pregnant women are sufficiently active. In an attempt to increase health outcomes, it is important to explore innovative ways to increase PA among pregnant women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of a four week web-based computer-tailored PA intervention among pregnant women.
METHODS: Seventy-seven participants were randomised into either: (1) an intervention group that received tailored PA advice and access to a resource library of articles relating to PA during pregnancy; or (2) a standard information group that only received access to the resources library. Objective moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed at baseline and immediately post-intervention. Recruitment, attrition, intervention adherence, and website engagement were assessed. Questions on usability and satisfaction were administered post-intervention.
RESULTS: Feasibility was demonstrated through acceptable recruitment (8.5 participants recruited and randomised/month), and attrition (25%). Acceptability among intervention group participants was positive with high intervention adherence (96% of 4 modules completed). High website engagement (participants logged in 1.6 times/week although only required to log in once per week), usability (75/100), and satisfaction outcomes were reported in both groups. However, participants in the intervention group viewed significantly more pages on the website (p < 0.05), reported that the website felt more personally relevant (p < 0.05), and significantly increased their MVPA from baseline to post-intervention (mean difference = 35.87 min), compared to the control group (mean difference = 9.83 min) (p < 0.05), suggesting efficacy.
CONCLUSIONS: The delivery of a computer-tailored web-based intervention designed to increase PA in pregnant women is feasible, well accepted and associated with increases in short-term MVPA. Findings suggest the use of computer-tailored information leads to greater website engagement, satisfaction and greater PA levels among pregnant women compared to a generic information only website.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was 'retrospectively registered' with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12614001105639 ) on 17(th) October, 2014.