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Physiotherapists' and midwives' views of increased inter recti abdominis distance and its management in women after childbirth
Center for Clinical Research Dalarna, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden; Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Uppsala University, BMC, Uppsala, Sweden.
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för medicinska vetenskaper. University Health Care Research Center.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3474-3200
2020 (Engelska)Ingår i: BMC Women's Health, ISSN 1472-6874, E-ISSN 1472-6874, Vol. 20, nr 1, artikel-id 37Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Physiotherapists and midwives in primary healthcare often encounter women with an increased separation between the two rectus abdominis muscle bellies after pregnancy, a so-called increased inter recti distance (IRD). There are few studies on the contribution of increased IRD to the explanation of post-partum health complaints, and very little guidance in the literature for health professionals on the management of increased IRD. The aim of this study was to describe how physiotherapists and midwives in primary healthcare perceive the phenomenon of increased IRD and its management in women after childbirth.

METHODS: A purposeful sampling approach was used to select physiotherapists and midwives working in primary healthcare in three large county council healthcare organisations in Sweden having experience of encountering women with increased IRD after pregnancy. Sixteen physiotherapists and midwives participated in focus group discussions. Four focus groups with four participants in each were undertaken. A semi-structured topic guide was used to explore responses to the research questions and the discussions were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: We identified an overarching theme: Ambivalence towards the phenomenon increased IRD and frustration over insufficient professional knowledge. The theme included three categories: Uncertainty concerning the significance of increased IRD as a causal factor for functional problems; perceived insufficient professional knowledge base for the management of increased IRD; and lack of inter-professional collaboration and teamwork in the management of patients with increased IRD. Due to sparse and somewhat contradictory research findings and absence of clinical guidelines, the health professionals lacked basic preconditions for applying an evidence-based practice concerning increased IRD. They obtained their information about increased IRD from the media and fitness coaches, and hence were somewhat unsure about what to believe regarding the phenomenon.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no consensus among the health professionals on how to best approach increased IRD in the clinical setting. Our findings stress the importance of more research to increase the professional knowledge base among physiotherapists and midwives. The findings highlight the urgent need for policies and clinical guidelines advising health professionals in the management of increased IRD and for facilitating inter-professional collaboration and teamwork.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
BioMed Central, 2020. Vol. 20, nr 1, artikel-id 37
Nyckelord [en]
Diastasis recti, Health professionals, Health promotion, Management, Perception, Post-partum health, Primary healthcare, Qualitative research method, Sweden, women’s health
Nationell ämneskategori
Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-80308DOI: 10.1186/s12905-020-00907-9ISI: 000520494500001PubMedID: 32103753Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85080035813OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-80308DiVA, id: diva2:1411195
Anmärkning

Funding Agencies:

Uppsala-Örebro Regional Research Board  

Uppsala University 

Tillgänglig från: 2020-03-03 Skapad: 2020-03-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-04-07Bibliografiskt granskad

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Eriksson Crommert, Martin

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