Behavioural interventions for weight management in pregnancy: A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative data

F Campbell, M Johnson, J Messina, L Guillaume, L Goyder


Objective: To assess the effectiveness of dietary with or without physical activity interventions to prevent excessive weight gain in pregnancy and explore the factors that influence intervention effectiveness.
Design: Systematic review, including a meta-analysis of controlled trials of interventions to prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy and a thematic synthesis of qualitative studies that investigated the views of women on weight management during pregnancy.
Data Sources: Eleven electronic bibliographic databases, reference list of included studies, relevant review articles and experts in the field.
Review Methods: Two independent reviewers extracted data. RevMan software was used to perform the meta-analyses. Qualitative data was subject to thematic analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative data were aligned using a matrix framework.
Results: Five controlled trials and nine qualitative studies were included. The overall pooled effect size found no significant difference in gestational weight gain amongst participants in the interventions group compared with the control group (mean difference -1.88kg CI -4.34 to 0.59). The study designs, participants and interventions all varied markedly and there was significant
heterogeneity within this comparison in the meta-analysis (I2 76%). Subgroup and sensitivity analysis did not identify contextual elements that influenced the effectiveness of the intervention.