Community-based service provision for the prevention and management of maternal obesity in the North East of England: A qualitative study

S. A. Smith, N. Heslehurst, L. J. Ells, J. R. Wilkinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: This study was conducted to develop a better understanding of community-based initiatives relating to maternal obesity, and to gain community service providers' views on maternal obesity services and their perceived role in the management and prevention of maternal obesity. Study design: An interpretive constructionist approach using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were carried out with community service providers in the North East of England, UK. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: Five dominant themes emerged: community-based obesity services, understanding maternal obesity services, participation in maternal obesity services, challenges in the development of community maternal obesity services, and factors contributing to successful maternal obesity services. Community service providers identified their role in tackling maternal obesity alongside maternity services. Participants identified a lack of community maternal obesity services, distinct training requirements, and felt that a multi-agency approach was likely to be required. Conclusions: Increasing rates of maternal obesity and the relationship between maternal obesity and childhood obesity mean that the preconception, pregnancy and postnatal periods are important and timely stages in the life course for public health intervention. However, current public health and community service provision lacks structured maternal obesity objectives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)518-524
    Number of pages7
    JournalPublic Health
    Volume125
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

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