A pilot study of an online group exercise program for women living with obesity and experiencing infertility: findings from questionnaire data

Furneaux, Tiffany (2023) A pilot study of an online group exercise program for women living with obesity and experiencing infertility: findings from questionnaire data. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Introduction: Infertility impacts one in six Canadian couples. The experience of infertility can have lasting psychosocial consequences, manifesting in many ways, such as elevated levels of stress and anxiety to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Persons living with obesity and experiencing infertility are counselled on healthy behaviours to improve fertility-related outcomes. Patients also report decreased psychosocial well-being. Purpose: To explore the effect of a 12-week virtual exercise program on psychosocial measures of well-being. Methods: A pre-experimental feasibility study (Pre-Test, Post-Test with one group) with a patient-oriented research approach was conducted whereby participant discussion groups were utilized throughout the study. Questionnaires measuring: anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS), quality of life (Short Form Health Survey Version 2; SF-12v2); social support (Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support; MSPSS); global stress (Fertility Problem Inventory; FPI); and hopelessness (Beck Hopelessness Scale; BHS) were administered. Results: Eleven participants participated in the virtual exercise intervention (Age:34±3.7, BMI: 40.3±4.54); seven completed post-intervention questionnaires. Improvements in HADS (n=3 improved), BHS (n = 4 improved), SF-12v2;physical (n = 6 improved), and FPI (n = 5 improved) were observed. The average change declined for HADS; anxiety (n = 3), mental quality of life (n = 6), and MSPSS (n = 5). Conclusion: For most participants, fertility-related stress decreased but poor mental health increased following the exercise program. To further explore this relationship, a larger sample of participants is needed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16147
Item ID: 16147
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-106)
Keywords: infertility, obesity, exercise, mental health, women’s health, comparative study, patient-oriented research
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/07KS-5542
Medical Subject Heading: Infertility--Canada; Obesity--psychology--Canada; Women's Health--Canada; Mental Health--Canada; Exercise Therapy--Canada; Telemedicine--Canada; Feasibility Studies--Canada; Patient--Centered Care--Canada; Surveys and Questionnaires--statistics & numerical data--Canada; Comparative Study--Canada; Anxiety--Canada; Depression--Canada

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