Departmental Bulletin Paper Effects of Antenatal Exercise on the Quality of Life in Pregnant Women: A Literature Review

宮本, 雅子  ,  小神野, 雅子  ,  松田, 佳子

Background: Antenatal exercise is considered to have both physical and psychological effects and helpsprepare pregnant women for labour. This study aims to examine the evidence indicating that antenatal physicalexercise improves the quality of life (QOL) in pregnant women.Methods: We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using thePatient Intervention Comparison Outcomes (PICO) strategy to construct the following research question: Inpregnant women (Patient), do physical antenatal exercises (Intervention) improve the QOL (Outcomes) whencompared to routine daily activities, including suitable general physical activity (Comparison)? We searched theCochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PubMed forstudies published before July 2016.Results: We identified nine RCTs, two of which were included in our meta-analysis. The nine identified studiesincluded 1,376 pregnant women, most of whom were in normal health. Of the nine RCTs, three showedstatistically significant improvement in the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Function and GeneralHealth subscales. Two RCTs involving 154 women with a body mass index over 25 or 26 kg/m2 were used forthe meta-analysis. Our analysis showed a trend towards the intervention groups having higher scores in theWorld Health Organisation Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) Psychological and Environmentaldomains than the control groups.Conclusions: Physical and Psychological domains of the QOL measurements showed statistically significantimprovement in antenatal exercise intervention groups using relaxation techniques. However, a previous metaanalysisfound no evidence of improvement in four WHOQOL-BREF domains. There were many interventionalmethods in the nine RCTs included; therefore, the relationship between enhancement of QOL and relaxationtechniques is unclear.

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