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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 835464, 10 pages
Research Article

Women's and Midwives' Perspectives on the Design of a Text Messaging Support for Maternal Obesity Services: An Exploratory Study

1Health and Social Care Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, 32 Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK
2Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics, Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK
3Communication and Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Cantor Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NU, UK
4Maternal Obesity Clinic, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster, DN2 5LT, UK
5Sheffield Hallam University, Cantor Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NU, UK

Received 9 March 2012; Revised 21 May 2012; Accepted 27 May 2012

Academic Editor: Aron Weller

Copyright © 2012 H. Soltani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was aimed to explore women’s and midwives’ views on the use of mobile technology in supporting obese pregnant women with healthy lifestyle choices. A purposive sample of 14 women and midwives participated in four focus groups in Doncaster, UK. A content analysis of the transcripts from the first focus group led to the emergence of three main constructs with associated subcategories including Benefits (“modernising,” “motivating,” “reminding,” and “reducing” the sense of isolation), Risks and Limitations (possibility of “being offensive,” “creating pressure or guilt,” and “being influenced by mood”), and Service Delivery (making it “available to all pregnant women,” giving attention to the “message tone” and development of “message content”). They also suggested the use of other modalities such as web-based services for weight management during pregnancy. Based on the above results a text messaging service was developed and presented to the 2nd focus group participants who confirmed the positive views from the first focus group on the use of the text messaging as being supportive and informative. The participants also welcomed “women’s engagement and choice” in deciding the content, timing and frequency of messages. The results informed the development of a text messaging service to support maternal obesity management. The implementation and acceptability of this service requires further investigation.