Effects of Physical Exercises on the Mental Health of Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review
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, Ovid data bases were searched. Three English keywords (pregnancy, physical exercise, mental health) were used. For the Turkish keywords, the words in Turkish Science Terms (http://www.bilimterimleri.com/) and the Turkish equivalents of the selected English keywords (pregnancy, physical exercise, mental health) were used. At first, 319 articles were examined according to their title sand abstracts. Secondly, duplicate articles were excluded. There maining articles were examined according to the inclusion criteria. Six articles which fit these criteria were included in the study.
Results: The effects of physical exercises on the mental health of the pregnant women were evaluated. Four of the articles included in the study were descriptive, one of the articles was qualitative, one of the articles was experimental. One of these studies was carried out in Australia, one of them was carried out in Sweden, one of them was carried out in Portugal, one of them was carried out in Poland, one of them was carried out in Denmark, one of them was carried out in Lebanon. The psychological well-being of the pregnant women who exercised regularly was found to be beter than that of the pregnant women who exercised irregularly or who did not exercise.
Conclusion: This systematic review was shown that exercises done by pregnant women positively influence the mental health of them and improve 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 result sand to guide nurses with these results.
Keywords - Pregnancy; physical exercise; mental health; nursing