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What Is the Impact of the Internet on Decision-Making in Pregnancy? A Global Study

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Lagan, Briege M, Sinclair, Marlene and Kernohan, W George (2011) What Is the Impact of the Internet on Decision-Making in Pregnancy? A Global Study. BIRTH, 38 (4). pp. 336-345. [Journal article]

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URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-536X.2011.00488.x/abstract

DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2011.00488.x

Abstract

Background: Women need access to evidence-based information to make informed choices in pregnancy. A search for health information is one of the major reasons that people worldwide access the Internet. Recent years have witnessed an increase in Internetusage by women seeking pregnancy-related information. The aim of this study was to build onprevious quantitative studies to explore women’s experiences and perceptions of using the Internetfor retrieving pregnancy-related information, and its influence on their decision-making processes. Methods: This global study drew on the interpretive qualitative traditions together with a theoretical model on information seeking, adapted to understand Internet use in pregnancy and its role in relation to decision-making. Thirteen asynchronous online focus groups across five countries were conducted with 92 women who had accessed the Internet for pregnancy-related information over a 3-month period. Data were readily transferred and analyzed deductively. Results: The overall analysis indicates that the Internet is having a visible impact on women’s decision making in regards to all aspects of their pregnancy. The key emergent theme was the great need for information. Four broad themes also emerged: ‘‘validate information,’’ ‘‘empowerment,’’ ‘‘share experiences,’’ and ‘‘assisted decision-making.’’ Women also reported how the Internet provided support, its negative and positive aspects, and as a source of accurate, timely information. Conclusion: Health professionals have a responsibility to acknowledge that women access the Internet for support and pregnancy-related information to assist in their decision-making. Health professionals must learn to work in partnership with women to guide them toward evidence-based websites and be prepared to discuss the ensuinginformation. (BIRTH 38:4 December 2011)

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:decision-making, information seeking, Internet, online focus groups, pregnant women
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Managing Chronic Illness
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research
ID Code:21866
Deposited By:Dr Briege M Lagan
Deposited On:31 May 2012 14:38
Last Modified:31 May 2012 14:38

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