Lifting and pregnancy outcomes : feasibility of a randomized controlled trial

Kwegyir-Afful, E ORCID:, Verbeek, J, Aziato, L, Seffah, JD, Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K and Räsänen, K 2018, 'Lifting and pregnancy outcomes : feasibility of a randomized controlled trial' , Occupational Medicine, 68 (1) , pp. 11-17.

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Background: The highest incidence of preterm birth (18%) occurs in Africa but the causes are largely unknown. Some studies have reported adverse effects of maternal physical exertion on birth outcomes. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is proposed to determine the effectiveness of an intervention reducing lifting and carrying in pregnant women in reducing preterm birth and low birthweight.

Aims: To test the feasibility and acceptability of the proposed lift-less intervention RCT.

Methods: We recruited pregnant women and midwives from antenatal clinics within the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The midwives were trained to administer the intervention during a 5-week trial. Four intervention trial sessions were organized at weekly intervals.

Results: Seven pregnant women and six midwives participated. After piloting, we observed a reduction in participants’ self-reported daily exposure to heavy lifting and carrying. The daily average frequency of lifting by a participant within the first seven days of the study was 3.5 (SD 1.7) with an estimated mean total weight of 41.1 kg (SD = 13.3 kg). This had decreased to 2.3 (SD = 1.0) and the amount to 13.4 kg (SD = 10.9) within the last seven days of the study.

Conclusions: The findings provide insight into the daily physical exertion experienced by pregnant women in Ghana. The lift-less intervention trial is feasible with modifications and has the potential to reduce excessive physical exertion among pregnant women in Ghana to improve birth outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Occupational Medicine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0962-7480
Funders: Saastamoinen Foundation
Depositing User: Dr Emma Kwegyir-Afful
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2019 13:38
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:24

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