Midwife-moderated social media groups as a validated information source for women during pregnancy

McCarthy, R, Byrne, G, Brettle, AJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4120-1752, Choucri, LP, Ormandy, P ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6951-972X and Chatwin, JR ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3091-9117 2020, 'Midwife-moderated social media groups as a validated information source for women during pregnancy' , Midwifery, 88 , p. 102710.

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Abstract

Background
Widespread use of the internet has fundamentally altered the way people access health information and communicate with health providers. Pregnant women are a group who are particularly highly motivated to seek out information online. However, where mothers actually obtain their information, who they trust to supply it, and whether or not it actually fulfils their needs is often unclear. This paper examines the experiences of women accessing advice and information on pregnancy and childbirth through a dedicated social-media platform, mediated by qualified midwives. The study formed part of a larger research project that focussed on professionally moderated online learning in maternity care, and the role of online communities. This paper reports on aspects of midwife mediated information provision in the context of these online communities.
Methods
Two secret (i.e. private / invitation only) Facebook groups were created. Both groups were moderated by 2 qualified midwives. One group had 17 mothers and the other 14 mothers. Both groups ran for 35 weeks.
Data and analysis
The data included the written and spoken words of group participants and midwife-moderators in i) face-to-face (n=4) and online (n=4) post-intervention focus groups; ii) one-to-one interviews with group participants and midwife moderators (n=24); iii) the complete corpus of text-based interaction across both groups; iv) a sub-set of private message sessions (n=24) between individual participants and midwife-moderators. Thematic analysis was applied to the combined dataset.
Findings
Participants found engagement with midwives and other pregnant women via a social media group convenient and accessible. The groups provided a safe space for the sharing and validation of maternity relevant information. Members trusted their midwife-moderators to ensure information was reliable. For many members, the group became the primary source of pregnancy related information.
Conclusion
Midwife-mediated social media groups offer a highly effective way of providing individualised information provision and social support for pregnant woman. Access to a group can also significantly impact on perceptions of relational continuity.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Midwifery
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0266-6138
Related URLs:
Funders: Heath Education England
Depositing User: JR Chatwin
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 07:24
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 15:00
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56768

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