Mental health, exercise, sleep, RCT, qualitative research.

​Pregnant women with or at high risk of depression: effect and experience of an exercise intervention.

A research project by RM, cand.scient.san.publ., PhD-fellow Lotte Broberg


Mental disorders reduce quality of life and have extensive consequences for the individual and for society. 
The present project seek to explore
the effect of supervised group exercise in relation to psychological well-being and sleep quality among pregnant women with or at high risk of depression.

Mental disorders affects individuals’ functioning, resulting in emotional suffering and reduced quality of life for the affected persons as well as social and economic consequences for society. A reduction in mental illness is of great importance for public health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized this by giving greater attention to the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental health in health care systems. 

Maternal depression are a common psychiatric disorder during pregnancy and postpartum and the consequences are extensive. The strongest risk factor for antenatal depression is a history of depression and/or anxiety prior to pregnancy.
Until now, few studies have examined the effects of exercise in relation to psychological well-being and sleep among pregnant women with or at high risk of depression. 

The present study is a large randomized controlled trial with supervised exercise in groups twice weekly for 12 weeks as an intervention among pregnant women with or at high risk of depression. The aim of this RCT is to assess whether a supervised group exercise intervention increases psychological wellbeing and sleep quality in pregnant women with or a high risk of depression. 

Further, a qualitative study will seek to explore the experiences of participation in supervised group exercise among pregnant women with depression or low psychological well-being.






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