A web-based survey of midwives’ perceptions of women using the Internet in pregnancy: a global phenomenon

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Abstract

Objectivesto ascertain the views of midwives on Internet use in midwifery practice, to elicit the extent and nature of pregnant women's use of the Internet from a midwifery perspective, and to explore midwives’ perceptions of pregnant women using the Internet as an information source.Setting12 online midwifery discussion fora.Designa cross-sectional exploratory descriptive web-based survey.Methodologymidwives from midwifery e-discussion groups who had direct contact with pregnant women were invited to share their experiences of working with women who presented them with information gleaned from the Internet.Participantsan international sample of 303 midwives accessed and completed a web-based questionnaire.Resultsthe vast majority of midwives who responded (89%, n=271) perceived an increase in Internet use among pregnant women. Midwives reported that women used the Internet to obtain information on a broad range of pregnancy-related topics. Most (86%, n=260) had experience of a pregnant woman discussing information from the Internet with them in the past year. A concerned minority (19%, n=49) regarded the information retrieved by the women to be either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ accurate. Two-thirds (67%, n=174) considered that the information had an effect on how the woman thought her pregnancy should be managed.Key conclusionsthis study provides evidence of pregnant women accessing the Internet to obtain information related to their pregnancy. Midwives recognise that pregnant women are increasingly using the Internet as an accessible resource for information to inform decision-making in pregnancy. This presents a number of challenges for midwives.Implications for practicemidwives need to keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge. Midwives’ skills in Internet use need to be developed so that they can be effective and competent partners in supporting post-modern women.Keywords: Web-based questionnaire; Midwives perception; Internet; Pregnant women
LanguageEnglish
Pages273-281
Number of pages9
JournalMidwifery
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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Midwifery
Internet
Pregnancy
Pregnant Women
Surveys and Questionnaires
Working Women
Decision Making

Keywords

  • Web-based questionnaire
  • Midwives perception
  • Internet
  • Pregnant women

Cite this

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title = "A web-based survey of midwives’ perceptions of women using the Internet in pregnancy: a global phenomenon",
abstract = "Objectivesto ascertain the views of midwives on Internet use in midwifery practice, to elicit the extent and nature of pregnant women's use of the Internet from a midwifery perspective, and to explore midwives’ perceptions of pregnant women using the Internet as an information source.Setting12 online midwifery discussion fora.Designa cross-sectional exploratory descriptive web-based survey.Methodologymidwives from midwifery e-discussion groups who had direct contact with pregnant women were invited to share their experiences of working with women who presented them with information gleaned from the Internet.Participantsan international sample of 303 midwives accessed and completed a web-based questionnaire.Resultsthe vast majority of midwives who responded (89{\%}, n=271) perceived an increase in Internet use among pregnant women. Midwives reported that women used the Internet to obtain information on a broad range of pregnancy-related topics. Most (86{\%}, n=260) had experience of a pregnant woman discussing information from the Internet with them in the past year. A concerned minority (19{\%}, n=49) regarded the information retrieved by the women to be either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ accurate. Two-thirds (67{\%}, n=174) considered that the information had an effect on how the woman thought her pregnancy should be managed.Key conclusionsthis study provides evidence of pregnant women accessing the Internet to obtain information related to their pregnancy. Midwives recognise that pregnant women are increasingly using the Internet as an accessible resource for information to inform decision-making in pregnancy. This presents a number of challenges for midwives.Implications for practicemidwives need to keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge. Midwives’ skills in Internet use need to be developed so that they can be effective and competent partners in supporting post-modern women.Keywords: Web-based questionnaire; Midwives perception; Internet; Pregnant women",
keywords = "Web-based questionnaire, Midwives perception, Internet, Pregnant women",
author = "Briege Lagan and Marlene Sinclair and George Kernohan",
year = "2011",
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N2 - Objectivesto ascertain the views of midwives on Internet use in midwifery practice, to elicit the extent and nature of pregnant women's use of the Internet from a midwifery perspective, and to explore midwives’ perceptions of pregnant women using the Internet as an information source.Setting12 online midwifery discussion fora.Designa cross-sectional exploratory descriptive web-based survey.Methodologymidwives from midwifery e-discussion groups who had direct contact with pregnant women were invited to share their experiences of working with women who presented them with information gleaned from the Internet.Participantsan international sample of 303 midwives accessed and completed a web-based questionnaire.Resultsthe vast majority of midwives who responded (89%, n=271) perceived an increase in Internet use among pregnant women. Midwives reported that women used the Internet to obtain information on a broad range of pregnancy-related topics. Most (86%, n=260) had experience of a pregnant woman discussing information from the Internet with them in the past year. A concerned minority (19%, n=49) regarded the information retrieved by the women to be either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ accurate. Two-thirds (67%, n=174) considered that the information had an effect on how the woman thought her pregnancy should be managed.Key conclusionsthis study provides evidence of pregnant women accessing the Internet to obtain information related to their pregnancy. Midwives recognise that pregnant women are increasingly using the Internet as an accessible resource for information to inform decision-making in pregnancy. This presents a number of challenges for midwives.Implications for practicemidwives need to keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge. Midwives’ skills in Internet use need to be developed so that they can be effective and competent partners in supporting post-modern women.Keywords: Web-based questionnaire; Midwives perception; Internet; Pregnant women

AB - Objectivesto ascertain the views of midwives on Internet use in midwifery practice, to elicit the extent and nature of pregnant women's use of the Internet from a midwifery perspective, and to explore midwives’ perceptions of pregnant women using the Internet as an information source.Setting12 online midwifery discussion fora.Designa cross-sectional exploratory descriptive web-based survey.Methodologymidwives from midwifery e-discussion groups who had direct contact with pregnant women were invited to share their experiences of working with women who presented them with information gleaned from the Internet.Participantsan international sample of 303 midwives accessed and completed a web-based questionnaire.Resultsthe vast majority of midwives who responded (89%, n=271) perceived an increase in Internet use among pregnant women. Midwives reported that women used the Internet to obtain information on a broad range of pregnancy-related topics. Most (86%, n=260) had experience of a pregnant woman discussing information from the Internet with them in the past year. A concerned minority (19%, n=49) regarded the information retrieved by the women to be either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ accurate. Two-thirds (67%, n=174) considered that the information had an effect on how the woman thought her pregnancy should be managed.Key conclusionsthis study provides evidence of pregnant women accessing the Internet to obtain information related to their pregnancy. Midwives recognise that pregnant women are increasingly using the Internet as an accessible resource for information to inform decision-making in pregnancy. This presents a number of challenges for midwives.Implications for practicemidwives need to keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge. Midwives’ skills in Internet use need to be developed so that they can be effective and competent partners in supporting post-modern women.Keywords: Web-based questionnaire; Midwives perception; Internet; Pregnant women

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