• Point of Conception: A study of women’s information behaviour during pregnancy

    Tess Stackley (see profile)
    CityLIS, Feminist Humanities, Library & Information Science
    Information science, Library science, Public health, Women's studies
    Item Type:
    City University of London
    Antenatal care, Information behaviour, Midwifery, NHS, Pregnancy, Library and information science
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    Women who stay informed throughout their pregnancy have the opportunity to have the best health outcomes for themselves and their baby. In the UK women use a variety of information systems, and rely heavily on the resources provided by the NHS. With a myriad of sources available to pregnant women, it is important to see how well their chosen resources meet their information needs. The focus of this dissertation is to understand what causes pregnant women to search for information and how they reach a satisfactory conclusion to their information needs. This dissertation met the research aims through a mixed method research approach which included a survey and in-depth interviews of women who were pregnant in the UK in the last five years. The research provided a number of key findings: women conduct general preparatory research over the course of their pregnancy using a small number of trusted resources; commonly new information needs were provoked by interactions with physicians or midwives; unexpected events such as complications triggered the most intensive periods of research; women had a greater number of information needs during pregnancy and typically adapted their pre-pregnancy information behaviour to satisfy these needs; while women sought out scientifically-backed information, their emotions strongly influenced whether they decided to trust new sources. The main conclusion drawn from this research was the importance of midwives as information providers to facilitate healthy information searching. The midwife is perfectly positioned to verify the vast amount of pregnancy-related information women access and can help them answer queries quickly.
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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