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Healthcare professionals' views on supporting young mothers with eating and moving during and after pregnancy: An interview study using the COM-B framework

Lucas, G. ORCID: 0000-0001-5941-5233, Olander, E. K. ORCID: 0000-0001-7792-9895 and Salmon, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-2562-2116 (2019). Healthcare professionals' views on supporting young mothers with eating and moving during and after pregnancy: An interview study using the COM-B framework. Health & Social Care In The Community, doi: 10.1111/hsc.12841

Abstract

Young mothers under the age of 20 often have poor nutrition and low levels of physical activity, adversely affecting outcomes for themselves and their babies. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of healthcare professionals in supporting young women around eating and moving during and after pregnancy. Seventeen semi‐structured interviews were conducted with midwives, family nurse practitioners and health visitors involved in the care of pregnant and post‐natal mothers under the age of 20 in England and Wales. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and coded within the theoretical framework of the COM‐B model to three areas of capability, motivation and opportunity. For capability, participants were broadly divided between those who had specialist knowledge and training in communication skills to support health behaviours in this population and professionals reliant on tacit knowledge. For opportunity, having enough time was seen as critical because young women's difficult social contexts meant supporting improved health behaviours required relationships of trust to be built. For motivation, participants reported that supporting young women with eating and moving was part of their role. However, the decision to prioritise this support sometimes related to perceived need based on BMI and this was complicated as young women were still growing. Motivation was additionally connected to professionals’ own body experiences and health behaviours. Moving habits were less frequently discussed than eating as professionals described how young women tended to walk a lot in their daily lives or found that young women were not interested. Results suggest that to support eating and moving behaviours with young women, professionals need to be trained in communication techniques, enabled with the time to hold space for young women and be able to reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs to support a rounded model of health and wellbeing.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lucas, G. , Olander, E. K. and Salmon, D. (2019). Healthcare professionals' views on supporting young mothers with eating and moving during and after pregnancy: An interview study using the COM-B framework. Health & Social Care In The Community, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12841. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: diet, family nurse partnership, health visiting, midwifery, physical activity, qualitative research, teenage pregnancy
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
School of Health Sciences > Nursing
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23094
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