A patient and public involvement investigation into healthy eating and weight management advice during pregnancy

Type Article

Journal Article


J. C. Abayomi; M. S. Charnley; L. Cassidy; M. T. McCann; J. Jones; M. Wright; L. M. Newson

Year of publication



Int J Qual Health Care








OBJECTIVE: To conduct patient and public involvement (PPI) to gain insight into the experience of healthy eating and weight management advice during pregnancy. DESIGN: PPI in the planning and development of health interventions, aiming to ensure patient-centred care. Optimum nutrition and weight management are vital for successful pregnancy outcomes, yet many services report poor attendance and engagement. SETTING: Community venues in Liverpool and Ulster (UK). PARTICIPANTS: Two PPI representatives were involved in all aspects of the study: design, interview questions, recruitment and collection/analysis of feedback. INTERVENTION: Feedback was collected via note taking during group discussions, two in Liverpool (n = 10 & 5); two in Ulster (n = 7 & 9) and an interview (n = 1, in Ulster). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Transcript data were collated and thematic analysis was applied in analysis. RESULTS: Thematic analysis identified three themes: (i) weight gain is inevitable in pregnancy; (ii) healthy eating advice is important but currently lacks consistency and depth and (iii) expectations regarding the type of knowledge/support. CONCLUSIONS: PPI provides opportunity to enhance research design and offers valuable insight towards the needs of healthcare users. Pregnant women want positive health messages, with a focus on what they can/should do, rather than what they should not do. Midwives need to consider their communication with pregnant women, to ensure that their unique relationship is maintained, especially when the topics of diet and weight management are addressed. A well-designed digital intervention could improve access to pregnancy-specific nutrition information; empowering midwives to communicate patient-centred, healthy eating messages with confidence. This has the potential to change dietary and weight management behaviour in pregnant women.