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Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: exploring the use of digital media for condition-related information provision

Moffatt, Maria and Hamshire, Professor Claire and Selfe, Professor James (2021) Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: exploring the use of digital media for condition-related information provision. Evidence Based Midwifery. ISSN 1479-4489

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Background: Online health information-seeking is thought to be common among pregnant women, and the use of digital media has been widely adopted. Women with pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (PLPP) are often disappointed with the volume and content of condition-related information offered by their healthcare providers and alternative modes of information provision therefore need to be explored. The widespread adoption of digital media suggests that such platforms may provide a convenient alternative for information delivery. Aims of this study: To explore the PLPP-related information-seeking practices of women experiencing this condition and the attitudes of National Health Service (NHS) service users and healthcare professionals towards the use of digital media for PLPP-related information provision. Methods: Multi-method qualitative study: individual semi-structured interviews with seven NHS service users and two single-profession focus groups, one with six NHSbased midwives and one with four NHS-based physiotherapists. A framework method of thematic analysis was used. No member checking was undertaken. Results: All service users were aged 21-36 years, with gestational age <32 weeks. All midwives were >10 years post-qualification and had experience of an antenatal clinic setting. Two physiotherapists were 5-10 years post qualification, two were >10 years postqualification. All had relevant experience of treating women with PPLP. Searching online for condition-related information was reported by all service users and complex drivers for this behaviour were described. All stakeholder groups shared concerns about the quality and trustworthiness of PLPP-related information available online. The use of apps for condition-related information provision was viewed positively by all groups, but the majority of service users stated a lack of trust in health information obtained via social media. Conclusion: The development of an app-based intervention to facilitate the management of PLPP is supported by this study and is therefore worthy of further exploration.

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