Amanda Gard

Project Title: Application of a Health Action Process Approach model to increase physical activity in urinary incontinent women.

Women continually participate in less physical activity than men and despite numerous interventions aimed at tackling the barriers commonly reported by women, the gap between men and women prevails.  One condition which predominantly affects women, but is little explored regarding physical activity participation, is urinary incontinence.  Urinary incontinence is the unexpected leaking of urine and is estimated to be experienced by around a third of women, however recent research suggests over 69% of women experience urinary incontinence in the physical activity environment.   


This study will use the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) as a framework to explore urinary incontinence as a barrier to physical activity, and to investigate whether implementing urinary incontinence management strategies in an online physical activity intervention positively impacts women’s physical activity participation.  A variety of HAPA-based social-cognitive variables will be used, focussing on the development of planning, self-efficacy and self-regulatory mechanisms, allowing participants to perceive an increased control over the impact urinary incontinence has on their ability to be physically active. 


The study outcomes will be used to raise greater awareness of urinary incontinence.  Primarily, the data gathered will be used to illustrate the need for inclusion of urinary incontinence-coping strategies by physical activity educators, practitioners and policymakers, when devising interventions aimed at increasing women’s physical activity participation.  

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Sport Science

University: Abertay University

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