STUDY | 
Health
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Using a combined protection motivation theory and health action process approach intervention to promote exercise during pregnancy.

Gaston (2014)
Summary by 

Despite the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, many expectant mothers are inactive. This study examined whether augmenting a protection motivation theory (PMT) intervention with a Health Action Process Approach can enhance exercise behavior change among pregnant women. Sixty inactive pregnant women were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: PMT-only, PMT+action-planning, and PMT+action-and-coping-planning. Week-long objective (accelerometer) and subjective (self-report) exercise measures were collected at baseline, and at 1- and 4-weeks post-intervention. Repeated-measures ANOVAs demonstrated that while all participants reported increased exercise from baseline to 1-week post-intervention, participants in both planning groups were significantly more active (p<.001) than those in the PMT-only group by 4-weeks post-intervention (η (2)=.13 and .15 for accelerometer and self-report data, respectively). In conclusion, augmenting a PMT intervention with action or action-and-coping-planning can enhance exercise behavior change in pregnant women.