Effect of Exercise on the Mental Health of Pregnant Women: a Systematic Review
Selma İnfal Kesim1, Ayşe Taştekin2, Tuba Özaydın3
1Kadir Yallagöz Highschool of Health, Department of Nursing, Selçuk University, Akşehir, Konya, Turkey
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Afyonkarahisar Health Sciences University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey
3Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey
Keywords: Pregnancy, physical exercise, mental health
Objective: This systematic review aimed to determine the effects of physical exercises on pregnant women's mental health during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in accordance with the guidelines developed by the National Institute of Health Research, University of York (UK). In this process, PubMed, EBSCOhost, ULAKBİM Medical Database, Turkish Medline, Web of Science, and Ovid databases were searched. Three English keywords; "pregnancy", "physical exercise", "mental health" were used. For the Turkish keywords, Turkish equivalents of the selected English keywords in the Turkish Science Terms index were used. At first, 319 articles were examined according to their titles and abstracts. Secondly, duplicate articles were excluded. The remaining articles were examined according to the inclusion criteria. Six articles that fit these criteria were included in the study.
Results: Four of the articles included in the study were descriptive, one was qualitative, and the last one was experimental. The mental health of the pregnant women who exercised regularly was found to be better than that of pregnant women who exercised irregularly or who did not exercise at all.
Conclusion: This systematic review revealed that exercises done by pregnant women positively influenced their mental health, and improved their psychological well-being. It also revealed the quantitative limitations of the studies related to the subject. It is suggested to increase the number of randomized controlled studies carried out on this subject, and to perform meta-analyses providing high-level evidence to generalize the results.
Cite this article as: Kesim SI, Tastekin A, Ozaydin T. Effect of exercise on the mental health of pregnant women: A systematic review. Turk J Sports Med. 2019;54(4):288-95.