Sands is funding research which is exploring how pregnant women use digital resources like apps and websites, so better support can be provided during pregnancy and around the time of birth. The research aims to identify pregnancies which are at risk of complications and identify what could be helpful. 

The 12 month study is led by Dr Nicola Mackintosh, Associate Professor in Social Science Applied to Health, University of Leicester. This study is now complete and the research team are in the process of publishing their findings.

How will the research be done?

Firstly, before women are discharged from their postnatal wards, they will be asked to complete a survey to assess any safety concerns they had during their pregnancies and to understand if they used any websites and apps to help self-diagnosis.

Next, interviews will be conducted with 30 women and 20 staff members to explore their experiences of using websites and apps and how they fit alongside other means of support, such as family advice, antenatal guidance and telephone helplines.

Lastly, guided by responses to the survey and interviews, the researchers will choose a sample of websites and apps to understand differences in presentation of the information and the language and images used, particularly in relation to presentation of risk, self-care and help seeking advice.

Lead researcher: Dr Nicola Mackintosh, Associate Professor in Social Science Applied to Health, University of Leicester
Sum awarded: £62,838
Duration of study: 12 months, starting January 2019 

Further information can be found here.

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