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Title: Improving health outcomes for pregnant women with metabolic risk factors
Author: Wattar, Bassel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 5837
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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The epidemic of maternal obesity is increasing worldwide. Simple, effective and acceptable interventions are needed to combat obesity and improve pregnancy outcomes in women with metabolic risk factors such as dyslipidaemia and obesity. Dietary and lifestyle interventions reduce gestational weight gain, however, their effect on maternal and fetal outcomes is not clearly known. I conducted a large pragmatic randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a Mediterranean-based dietary intervention to reduce the risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors (The ESTEEM trial). The intervention significantly reduced gestational diabetes and gestational weight gain by an average of 1.2 Kg with some protective effect on fetal outcomes. I analysed the methodological challenges encountered in the trial and discussed applied solutions. I conducted a systematic review on the commonly used dietary assessment tools in trials involving pregnant women to assess their characteristics, validity, and applicability. Self-reporting dietary tools were the most commonly used to assess dietary intake in pregnancy such as food frequency questionnaires. Only 8% of studies validated the chosen tools and applied a defined adherence criterion. I applied the findings of this review to develop and validate a custom designed food frequency questionnaire, and a short 12 items questionnaire, to assess the participants' adherence in the ESTEEM study. I assessed the dietary intake in a randomised cohort from the ESTEEM study and compared the questionnaires' accuracy to 24 hour dietary recalls as the reference method. Both the FFQ and the short questionnaire performed well for assessing the adherence to and the intake of key foods in the Mediterranean diet. I systematically reviewed available online information sources on the risks and management of obesity in pregnancy in the English language. I assessed 53 websites for their information credibility, accuracy, readability, content and technological quality. Overall I found that non-governmental funded websites that are obesity-specific and targeting healthcare users presented better overall information quality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Bart's Charity for the ESTEEM study
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women's health research ; pregnant women ; maternal obesity ; pregnancy outcomes ; metabolic risk factors