|Other Project Staff
Professor Andy Dearden
Dr Maddy Arden
Dr Penny Furness
|Expert Advisory Panel
|Professor Gail Mountain
Obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy
are associated with an increased risk of complications as well as
maternal and neonatal mortality. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
can also lead to further development of obesity in women and their
offspring, therefore effective strategies are required to tackle this
important health issue.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE 2010) has
identified the need for more research on the management of maternal
obesity. With an initial funding from the Engineering for Life (EFL) and
support from CLAHRC (UCHD, Obesity and TaCT themes) we have completed
the preclinical stages of developing a complex intervention to evaluate
the use of text messaging in the management of maternal obesity.
This project links with existing
pathways and will provide technological advances on previous projects.
The development of an e-health platform, delivered through a portable
device, can optimise access and promote effectiveness by overcoming
challenges associated with the stigma and other face-to-face barriers.
A phased approach was taken to develop
and evaluate this complex intervention. The results of the preclinical
and phase I are presented here. Through a structured literature search
and focus groups of women and midwives a preliminary prototype was
developed. Additional focus groups were carried out to verify
acceptability of the intervention components. This was followed by a
usability testing to explore implementation of the intervention into the
practical setting. The results of the focus groups were analysed
Women and midwives welcomed an
additional support particularly text messaging for maternal obesity
management as a modern and discrete service. A message delivery
platform, 96 motivational text messages, and diaries were developed to
enable goal setting for diet and physical activity behaviour change and
self-monitoring purposes. The verification process identified several
areas for improvement. Participants felt that consultations went well,
some text messages needed rewording, one message a day was ideal, and
the diary layout and colours needed changing. A few minor software
improvements were also identified.
The intensive engagement of service users and care
providers through an iterative process has led to development of the
MOMTech prototype for further evaluation. Amendments will be made, prior
to piloting with pregnant women.
The team has been successful in obtaining a small
funding from BUPA to examine practicality of the intervention and its
implementation into practice prior to a pilot study.
Professor Hora Soltani (Chair in
Maternal and Infant Health at Sheffield Hallam University-project lead)
says "This project is an excellent example of academic and clinical
networking. The need for the study was identified as a result of a gap
analysis by clinicians leading the maternal obesity clinic in Doncaster
and their communications with myself."
The multidisciplinary team includes experts from
User Centred Healthcare Design (led by Professor Andy Dearden), health
psychologists (Dr Maddy Arden and Dr Penny Furness) and a research
assistant (Alex Scott) who has recently joined the team, initially
supported by the CLAHRC SY. Dr Kerry McSeveny from Cultural,
Communication and Computing Research Institute, contributed to the early
stage of the study supported by EFL. In addition our clinical
colleagues Carolyn Garland and Alison Williams from Doncaster maternity
unit have been instrumental in taking this project forward. We have had
discussions with market leading industrial partners for a wider
evaluation and application of these services.
Support from BUPA allows examining the practicality
of the intervention prior to the next step which we are currently
designing to conduct a pilot multi-centre randomized controlled trial.
For further information, please contact Hora Soltani
CLAHRC Themes involved in the Project
CLAHRC project partners
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Supported by BUPA for feasibility testing