Pregnant Women Utilization of Internet and Social Media for Health Education In Saudi Arabia: A Thematic Analysis.
Keywords:Pregnancy, Saudi Arabia, Online, Internet, Health-education, Social media, Mobile application, Online medication.
Introduction: Today, with wide internet use, there is unlimited access to maternity information. Pregnant women use the Internet, social media, and smartphone applications to look for health-related information on obstetrics and pediatrics. Access to reliable health care information is vital for pregnant women and their fetuses. Hence, careful consideration should be given to the legitimacy and reliability of online health care information.
Objectives: The study aims to explore pregnant women's utilization of the Internet and web-based sources related to health care education and self-care in Saudi Arabia.
Method: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted through an electronic survey, where invitations were sent online to potential participants in Saudi Arabia.
Results: After analyzing 312 responses, pregnant women preferred looking up information on the Internet via search engines, as mentioned 175 times. Two hundred sixty-seven participants (85.6%) used social media websites/applications to look for information during their pregnancy. A total of 234 participants had used pregnancy apps (74.7%). Only 42 (13.5%) purchased dietary supplements from websites.
Conclusion: Utilizing social media and pregnancy-related applications for health care information is a growing trend nowadays. Healthcare professionals should have active roles in employing these apps as educational tools to provide trustworthy information to childbearing women. Further, launching an official website for pregnancy-related topics is recommended for future progress.
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