Evaluation of the Effect of Supervised Group Exercise on Self-Reported Sleep Quality in Pregnant Women with or at High Risk of Depression: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 13;19(10):5954. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19105954.


Poor sleep quality is common during pregnancy. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of supervised group physical exercise on self-reported sleep quality in pregnant women with or at high risk of depression, and secondly, to describe the association between sleep quality and psychological well-being during pregnancy and postpartum. This was a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial (n = 282) (NCT02833519) at Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Sleep quality was evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), psychological well-being by the five-item WHO Well-Being Index (WHO-5). The intention-to-treat analysis showed no difference in mean global PSQI score neither at 29-34 weeks, 6.56 (95% CI: 6.05-7.07) in the intervention group and 7.00 (95% CI: 6.47-7.53) in the control group, p = 0.2, nor at eight weeks postpartum. Women with WHO-5 ≤ 50 reported higher mean global PSQI scores at baseline, 7.82 (95% CI: 7.26-8.38), than women with WHO-5 score > 50, mean 5.42 (95% CI: 5.02-5.82), p < 0.0001. A significant difference was also present post-intervention and eight weeks postpartum. No significant effect of group exercise regarding self-reported sleep quality was seen at 29-34 weeks of gestation or postpartum. Low psychological well-being was associated with poor sleep quality during pregnancy and postpartum.

Keywords: depression; exercise; patient reported outcomes; pregnancy; self-reported; sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders*
  • Sleep Quality

Grant support

Lotte Broberg did this work as part of a PhD project and she, as well as her supervisor, Hanne Kristine Hegaard, were supported by the Danish foundation TrygFonden (reference number 110711) (email: info@trygfonden.dk, phone: 0045 45 26 08 00) and the Research Committee, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital–Rigshospitalet (reference number E-22316-02) (email: anne.vigsoe@regionh.dk, phone: 0045 35 45 64 31). All other authors did not receive financial support.