Explaining Effective Factors on Access to Maternal Health Information During Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study
Author(s): Safoura Taheri, Ziba Taghizadeh, Mahmoud Tavousi
Searching and acquiring health information empower women to make informed decision and improve their health. Understanding the behavior of individuals in seeking health information is essential as it helps to develop appropriate health policies and enables people to obtain information. Therefore, identifying the factors that are associated with the search for health information in pregnant women is important. The aim of this study was to explain the factors that affect access to maternal health information in pregnant women based on their perceptions and experiences. This qualitative study was carried out in 2017 in Tehran. The participants in this study included 19 pregnant women who had been selected by purposeful sampling. Semi-structured interviews continued until data saturation was reached and data analysis was performed using conventional content analysis method. Data management was done by MAXQDA10 software. During the data analysis, the factors affecting access to maternal health information during pregnancy were determined in two main concepts: facilitating factors and inhibiting factors. Facilitating factors had several sub-category, including factors related to individual (such as; support and encouragement of family/friends to access health information, having a seeking attitude and spirit towards obtaining health information, lack of information in the past and knowing the appropriate ways to search in resources such as internet to obtain information) and factors related to the health and information system. Inhibiting factors also had several subcategories, including related factors at the micro level and related factors at the macro level (such as; lack of information provision by the health system and the difficulty of obtaining health information). The results showed which factors that affect access to maternal health information are among facilitating factors and which factors are among inhibiting factors during pregnancy. Health authorities and especially maternal health institutions, by using the findings of this study, can make necessary planning to strengthen facilitating factors and eliminate inhibiting factors.