The internet: a reliable source for pregnancy and birth planning? A qualitative study

Lynch, Catherine and Nikolova, Gergana (2015) The internet: a reliable source for pregnancy and birth planning? A qualitative study. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 25 (2). pp. 193-199. ISSN 0961-5555

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Aims and objectives: The study aims to explore why and how pregnant women use the internet as a health information source, what overall effect it has on their decision making and how this is affecting their interaction with their health care professional. Background: As the internet has become primarily a source of information among mothers-to-be, health care professionals require greater understanding of the impact of such technology to provide adequate support and advice to new mothers. Selection criteria: Pregnant women, from the time of their first meeting with their midwife until birth, were approached for the study. Supplementary criteria included: age 18 and above, living within Frimley Heath Foundation Trust, and fluency in the English language. Data collection and analysis: This was a primary research study with data collected through an online survey. As the purpose of the study was to collect data on an impact that cannot be directly observed, an online questionnaire was utilised to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The data was analysed and presented thematically. Results: In accordance with the UK government policy to promote registration of clinical studies and public access to research findings affecting health and social care, the research is registered on the public database. Authors’ conclusion: The use of the internet as a source of pregnancy-related information has become increasingly popular and influential among childbearing women. As health professionals, midwives have a responsibility to acknowledge the fact that women access the internet for support and pregnancy-related information. For the wider profession, midwifery leaders need to set the direction of travel for their profession in engaging with social media and provide guidance on directing pregnant women towards sources of information which are both evidence-based and valid.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Computing
Medicine and health > Midwifery
Medicine and health > Nursing
Depositing User: Catherine Lynch
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 14:12
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:43


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