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Web-based information on analgesia in labor: usage, sourcing, rating of availability and quality by mothers
Abstract Number: SAT-40
Abstract Type: Original Research
Introduction: Approximately 4.5% of internet searches are health-related, and 40% of searches by pregnant women relate to the peripartum setting. In a recent survey, pregnant women were dissatisfied with information provided by healthcare professionals, and subsequently utilized the internet to supplement information from their providers. Patient education regarding labor analgesia by an anesthesiologist is often limited to the labor setting, despite data that knowledge regarding anesthesia reduces anxiety, pain, and length of stay. We conducted a web-based survey to evaluate where patients obtained information about labor analgesia, how accurate the information was, how labor analgesia met their expectations, and interest in internet-based educational resources.
Methods: Women were approached post-partum for participation in a twelve multi-part question survey based on the 5-point Likert scale. Questions regarding sources of information were presented as a list of options for patients to rank. Exclusion to the study were non-English speaking, minors, delivery of a stillbirth, or severe fetal anomalies.
Results: Regarding mode of delivery, 59% of births were vaginal, 7% required instrumentation (vacuum or forceps), and 34% were cesarean deliveries. A substantial portion (74%) of respondents were primiparous, while 26% were multiparous. All respondents had neuraxial anesthesia, while 55% also used fentanyl and 53% used nitrous oxide. It terms of information resources, prenatal classes were ranked the most useful, followed by family and friends, books, obstetricians, and finally internet resources. The most useful resource did not correlate with the likelihood of labor pain relief meeting patient expectations. Greater than 90% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that information from books, prenatal classes, and obstetricians was accurate, while 78% similarly regarded information from family and friends, and only 59% felt similarly regarding information from the internet. 86% of respondents access the internet more than 5 times daily. Regarding an institution-specific website with information about pain management during labor, 74% of respondents expressed interest.
Discussion: Our survey demonstrates that women do not find the internet particularly useful or accurate compared to other resources for information regarding labor pain management. There is strong interest in an institution-sponsored educational website regarding this important topic.
Eyesenbach, G, et al. 2003 What is the prevalence of health-related searches on the world wide web? Qualitative and quantitative analysis of search engine queries on the internet. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 225-229.
Lagan BM, et al. 2010 Internet use in pregnancy informs women’s decision making: A web-based survey. Birth, 10,106-115.
Klafta JM, et. al. 1996 Current understanding of patients’ attitudes toward and preparation for anesthesia: A review. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 83, 1314-1321.