Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2023; 12(3):(332-340)


The Enablers and Barriers Associated With the Performance of Physical Exercise in Patients with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Godsday Udoji Ogbutor, Ephraim Chukwuemeka, Nworah Awele Maria, Akaeme Daniel Chidubem, Onapkoma Bight Eniwareke, Overcomer Temiloluwa Binuyo, Kizito Emeka Bright, Ezunu Emmanuel, Omorode Deborah, Collins Ogbeivor, Ruth Kikachukwu Chibuzor, Ogbutor Great Emeke.

Abstract
Background: Scientific evidence has shown that ante-natal lifestyle therapies such as physical exercise can enhance pregnancy outcomes and lower the risk of gestational diabetes (GDM). However, more than 60% of women with gestational diabetes do not perform physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyle may heighten the risk of this disease. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that promote or hinder the performance of physical exercise in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus.


Materials and Methods: The study employed a cross sectional design and a purposive sampling technique was used to recruit the respondents. The research instrument was a modified and pre-tested self-administered questionnaire adapted from previous studies. A structured barrier and enabler (BE) questionnaire was used for data collection.

Results: All respondents cited lack of time as a barrier, followed by children’s demands (34.2%), laziness (15.8%), being unaccustomed to physical exercise (14.5%), and lack of information (2.6%). On the other hand, 28.9% of the women claimed that social media, 15.8% “being fit”, 15.8% “being healthy”, 7.9% “looking nice” and 2.9% “being active” were their major stimulus or enablers. 

Conclusion: This study reflects that the value placed on the performance of physical exercise is secondary to cultural demands. While the women in this study viewed physical activity as important for their health, it was usually prioritized behind their demanding roles as mothers, partners and homemakers.

Recommendations: Physical Exercise prescriptions should consider the geographic and cultural orientation of the people for effective compliance. Moreover, a public health approach aimed at enlightening the populace of the importance of physical exercise in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus would be of tremendous help at minimizing the barriers and promoting the participation of these categories of patients in the performance of physical exercise.

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