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An exploration of the motivation of pregnant women to perform pelvic floor exercises using the revised theory of planned behaviour

An exploration of the motivation of pregnant women to perform pelvic floor exercises using the revised theory of planned behaviour

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Original languageEnglish
Pages761-778
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Journal publication dateNov 2011
Volume16
Issue4
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

Objectives. To investigate the motivation of pregnant women towards the practice of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy using the revised Theory of Planned Behaviour (RTPB), incorporating measures of past behaviour.

Design. Longitudinal cohort study.

Methods. Women (n = 289) attending antenatal clinics in the North-East of Scotland were interviewed in the third trimester of pregnancy regarding their practice of pelvic floor exercises. Beliefs and attitudes about the exercises were investigated by self-administered questionnaire using the RTPB as a framework. A follow-up postal questionnaire was sent between 6 and 12 months after delivery.

Results. TPB variables (attitude, subjective norm, and self-efficacy) explained 53.1% of the variance in intention to practise pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. Perceived vulnerability to incontinence (attitude to the current behaviour) had no relationship with intention. Measures of past behaviour significantly improved the percentage of explained variance in intention. Confidence in ability to perform pelvic floor exercises correctly (self-efficacy) reliably predicted subsequent practice.

Conclusions. Future compliance with pelvic floor exercises may be enhanced by effective instruction to enhance confidence in ability to contract the correct muscles and promotion of measures to help establish a habit of exercising the pelvic floor muscles.

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