Document Detail

Internet message boards for pregnancy loss: who's on-line and why?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21907592     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Pregnancy loss is common, but its significance is often minimized by family, friends, and the community, leaving bereaved parents with unmet need for support. This study sought to describe demographics, usage patterns, and perceived benefits for women participating in Internet pregnancy loss support groups.
METHODS: We requested permission to post an anonymous Internet survey on large and active United States Internet message boards for women with miscarriages and stillbirths. The study purposefully oversampled stillbirth sites and included both closed- and open-ended questions. The University of Michigan Institutional Review Board approved the study. Closed-ended questions were summarized and evaluated with bivariate analysis. We performed a qualitative analysis of open-ended data using an iterative coding process to identify key themes.
RESULTS: Of 62 sites queried, 15 granted permission to post the survey on 18 different message boards. We collected 1,039 surveys, of which 1,006 were complete and eligible for analysis. Women were typically white, well educated, and frequent users. They noted message boards helped them to feel less isolated in their loss and grief and they appreciated unique aspects of Internet communication such as convenience, access, anonymity, and privacy. Pregnancy loss message boards are an important aspect of support for many bereaved mothers. African-American women seem to be substantially underrepresented on-line despite being at higher risk for stillbirth.
CONCLUSION: Internet message boards serve a unique function in providing support for women with miscarriage and stillbirth. The benefits are often significantly different from those encountered in traditional face-to-face bereavement support.
Katherine J Gold; Martha E Boggs; Emeline Mugisha; Christie Lancaster Palladino
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-09-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1878-4321     ISO Abbreviation:  Womens Health Issues     Publication Date:    2012 Jan-Feb
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-13     Completed Date:  2012-04-26     Revised Date:  2014-09-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9101000     Medline TA:  Womens Health Issues     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e67-72     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Abortion, Spontaneous / psychology*
African Americans
European Continental Ancestry Group
Internet / utilization*
Pregnancy Complications
Self Care
Self-Help Groups / utilization*
Social Support*
Stillbirth / ethnology,  psychology*
United States
Grant Support
K23 MH085882/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; K23 MH085882-01A1/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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