Document Detail

Internet use in pregnancy informs women's decision making: a web-based survey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20557533     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Internet access and usage is almost ubiquitous, providing new opportunities and increasing challenges for health care practitioners and users. With pregnant women reportedly turning to the Internet for information during pregnancy, a better understanding of this behavior is needed. The objective of this study was to ascertain why and how pregnant women use the Internet as a health information source, and the overall effect it had on their decision making. Kuhlthau's (1993) information-seeking model was adapted to provide the underpinning theoretical framework for the study.
METHODS: The design was exploratory and descriptive. Data were collected using a valid and reliable web-based questionnaire. Over a 12-week period, 613 women from 24 countries who had confirmed that they had used the Internet for pregnancy-related information during their pregnancy completed and submitted a questionnaire.
RESULTS: Most women (97%) used search engines such as Google to identify online web pages to access a large variety of pregnancy-related information and to use the Internet for pregnancy-related social networking, support, and electronic commerce (i.e., e-commerce). Almost 94 percent of women used the Internet to supplement information already provided by health professionals and 83 percent used it to influence their pregnancy decision making. Nearly half of the respondents reported dissatisfaction with information given by health professionals (48.6%) and lack of time to ask health professionals questions (46.5%) as key factors influencing them to access the Internet. Statistically, women's confidence levels significantly increased with respect to making decisions about their pregnancy after Internet usage (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the Internet played a significant part in the respondents' health information seeking and decision making in pregnancy. Health professionals need to be ready to support pregnant women in online data retrieval, interpretation, and application.
Briege M Lagan; Marlene Sinclair; W George Kernohan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Birth (Berkeley, Calif.)     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1523-536X     ISO Abbreviation:  Birth     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-18     Completed Date:  2010-10-01     Revised Date:  2011-03-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8302042     Medline TA:  Birth     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  106-15     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Decision Making*
Internet / utilization*
Pregnant Women / psychology*
Comment In:
Birth. 2011 Mar;38(1):93-4   [PMID:  21332781 ]

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