Provider and Patient Knowledge and Views of Office Practices on Weight Gain and Exercise during Pregnancy

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This study sought to assess provider and patient knowledge and beliefs on gestational weight gain (GWG) and exercise during pregnancy, outline current clinical practices and the perceived value of educational tools.

Study Design

Providers and patients at the George Washington Medical Faculty Associates Obstetricians and Gynecologists clinic were recruited for a voluntary survey. Descriptive statistics of responses were compared and chi-square analysis tested for significant associations.


A total of 461 patient and 36 provider questionnaires were analyzed. Providers recommended GWG consistent with the Institute of Medicine guidelines for a “normal” body mass index (82.9%); however, a majority (52.8%) recommended GWG below guidelines for obese women. All providers reported counseling patients on GWG, but only 53.4% of patients reported discussing personal recommendations. About half of providers reported distributing educational materials for GWG (60.0%); however, only 30.6% of patients reported receiving them. African American patients self-reported receiving the highest rates of counseling and educational materials, though a lower rate of recommendations to exercise. Patients perceived educational tools to be more useful than did providers.


Our findings suggest a gap between provider-patient perceptions regarding counseling and provision of informational materials. Future research should study whether implementing various educational tools might increase the efficacy of current practices.

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