Effect of a specific exercise programme during pregnancy on diastasis recti abdominis: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonBMJ Open. 2022, 12 (2), . 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056558
Introduction: Diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) is a common condition in pregnant and postpartum women. Evidence for the treatment of DRA is both sparse and weak. As this condition occurs during the last two trimesters of pregnancy and there is a paucity of high-quality studies on a pregnant population, we will conduct a randomised trial on the effect of a specific exercise programme during pregnancy on DRA. Methods and analysis: This is an exploratory, assessor-blinded, randomised parallel group trial carried out in a primary healthcare setting in a Norwegian city. 100 pregnant women, both primigravida and multigravida, in gestation week 24 presenting with DRA of ≥28 mm will be included. Participants will be allocated to either an intervention group or a control group by block randomisation. The intervention group will participate in a 12-week specific exercise programme. The control group will not participate in any exercise intervention. Data collection will take place prior to intervention, postintervention at gestation week 37, and 6 weeks, 6 and 12 months postpartum. The primary outcome measure will be change in the inter-recti distance, measured by two-dimensional ultrasonography. Data will be analysed and presented in accordance with international Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines and analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been obtained by the regional ethical committee (76296), and all procedures will be performed in adherence to the Helsinki declaration. The study has been registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. Results from this study will be presented at scientific conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.