Postnatal exercises: perceived barriers and self-efficacy among women at maternal and children hospital at Najran, kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Adel M Alshahrani, Amal M Abdullah, Wafaa T Elgzar, Heba A Ibrahim, Nadia A Eltohamy


Sedentary lifestyle is very high in the Saudi population in general and significantly high among females. Furthermore, some postpartum tradition imposes limited activities during postpartum periods. For women to be active during the postpartum period, they should have enough self-efficacy (SE) to overcome perceived barriers (BP).  This study aimed to evaluate postnatal exercises' PB and SE among postpartum women. A descriptive cross-sectional research design was followed in this study. This study was conducted at the outpatient department/ Maternal and Child hospital in Najran city, KSA. The study comprised a convenience sample of 368 postnatal women.  Data collection was done using a questionnaire composed of three parts; socio-demographic data and obstetric history, exercise benefits/barriers scale and exercise self-efficacy scale. Data were analyzed using SPSS 23.0. The relationships between variables were assessed using the Chi-square or Fisher's exact test. The correlations were assessed using Pearson correlation. The study results illustrated that 52.4% of the postpartum women had moderate SE to exercise, and 71.5% had moderate PB. Also, there were statistically significant relationships between the study participants' SE and PB and their educational level and nationality (p<0.05). In addition, significant negative correlations existed between the participants' SE and their Body Mass Index (BMI), age, gravidity, parity, number of children, and PB (p<0.05). On the other hand, significant positive correlations were observed between the participants' PB and their BMI, age, gravidity, parity, and number of children. This study concluded that about two-thirds of the postpartum women in Najran had low or moderate SE to practice postnatal exercises, and the majority of them had moderate or high BP. Efforts to enhance postnatal exercises should be directed to increase SE to overcome BP concerning postnatal exercises. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[4]: 164-172).

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