Maternal overweight and obesity: a survey of clinicians' characteristics and attitudes, and their responses to their pregnant clients

Wilkinson, Shelley A., Poad, Di and Stapleton, Helen (2013) Maternal overweight and obesity: a survey of clinicians' characteristics and attitudes, and their responses to their pregnant clients. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13 117: 1-8. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-117


Author Wilkinson, Shelley A.
Poad, Di
Stapleton, Helen
Title Maternal overweight and obesity: a survey of clinicians' characteristics and attitudes, and their responses to their pregnant clients
Journal name BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2393
Publication date 2013-05-21
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2393-13-117
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 117
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Subject 2729 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Formatted abstract
Background Statewide (Queensland) Clinical Guidelines reflecting current best practice have recently become available for the management of pregnancy-related obesity. Our aim was to assess staff knowledge about, adherence to, and characteristics that influence delivery of care according to these Guidelines.

Methods An online survey, available over a three week period (May-June 2011), was disseminated to obstetric, midwifery and allied health staff working in a tertiary maternity hospital. Outcomes included knowledge of guideline content, advice given, knowledge of obesity pregnancy-related complications, previous training, referral patterns, and staff characteristics, including lifestyle habits, body satisfaction, and Body Mass Index (BMI).

Results Seventy-three staff completed surveys (59.6% response rate). Mean self-reported BMI was 24.2 ± 4.1 kg/m2 (17.9-36.4); 28.5% of staff were overweight (19%) or obese (9.5%), and 27.4% were underweight. However, 28.6%, 2.4%, and 1.2% ‘self-classified’ themselves as overweight, obese, and underweight, respectively. Almost 40% were dissatisfied/extremely dissatisfied with their weight. While the majority reported overweight/obesity (ow/ob) as an important/very important general obstetric issue and most correctly identified associated perinatal complications, only 32.1% were aware of existing guidelines, with only half correctly identifying BMI categories for ow/ob. A quarter indicated they did not provide women with gestational weight gain (GWG) advice relative to BMI category. Staff identified they would like more training in the area of supporting women to achieve and understand the need for healthy GWG. Staff role was significantly associated with guideline adherence (p=0.03) and association with BMI category approached significance (p=0.07). An association was observed between staff’s BMI and their belief in the influence of their advice on women’s GWG (p=0.013) and weight satisfaction and belief in women having the resources to make the changes they recommend (p=0.003).

Conclusions Whilst lack of guideline knowledge provides a barrier to best-practice care, our findings suggest an interplay between staff confidence and personal characteristics in delivering such care which deserves recognition in staff education and training, and service development programs and future research.
Keyword Maternity
Guidelines
Midwifery
Obesity
Obstetrics
Staff characteristics
Weight perception
Fetal programming
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Pharmacy Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Nov 2013, 00:43:31 EST by Shelley Wilkinson on behalf of School of Pharmacy