Promotion and maintenance of physical activity in active women during pregnancy and early motherhood: an exploratory and pilot study; fully-funded PhD studentship
Pregnancy is a time of social, psychological, behavioural and biological change. Pregnant women are known to be less active than non-pregnant women and as pregnancy progresses physical activity tends to decrease. Lower activity levels persist into the postpartum period and beyond. Many intrapersonal, interpersonal or environmental factors influence physical activity including fatigue, mother-child safety, time constraints, lack of advice and information, beliefs about being active during pregnancy, social support and assess to facilities. Factors that can facilitate the involvement of women in physical activity during pregnancy and post-partum have also been identified, such as: prenatal routine visits with healthcare practitioners, group activities, and safe and low-cost facilities.
The focus of this PhD is to explore the common barriers and enablers of participation using a social ecological model. The PhD will: 1) develop a feasible and sustainable intervention to promote and maintain physical activity in pregnant and postpartum women who were active before pregnancy; and 2). develop a physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum training package to be delivered to healthcare professionals, sports clubs and University students in related areas.
The PhD will require several work packages to be completed, including: a systematic review, a community needs assessments, a feasibility and a pilot study, a service evaluation and the development of a training package. The student will work closely with Nouveau Wellbeing community delivery partner, NHS foundation services, county sports partners, sports clubs and others community infrastructure-organisations.
The PhD research has been co-produced with Nouveau Wellbeing CIC and is partially supported by Sport England- (funded through their programme ‘Helping the active stay active when life changes’). This is a multi-agency partnership that includes County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust and Durham County and Darlington Borough Councils. Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research is the academic partner and the supervisors for this PhD are all members of Fuse. The PhD candidate will work closely with this partnership during the development and implementation of the project.
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) and/or Masters level qualification in Exercise Science, Public Health, Midwifery or related disciplines, as well as experience or training in qualitative research and a demonstrable understanding research design, project evaluation and co-production.
Subject to satisfactory progress, the studentship will cover the tuition fees for four years (Home/EU/International) and an annual stipend for three years starting at £14,699 in the first year and rising each year.
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