The proposed research investigates the characteristics, information needs, and information management practices of pregnant women and their caregivers to inform the design of health information technologies. Pregnant women have widely varied and important information needs, ranging from medical questions about pregnancy to logistical concerns about hospital policies. Individuals such as spouses may partner in the care of the mother and baby. These caregivers have unique characteristics, information needs, and preferences. Little is known about these needs, whether they are met, or the resources used to manage them. Adequately addressing such needs can improve prenatal care and maternal and fetal outcomes. Patients and families are increasingly adopting health information technologies ranging from Internet web sites to sophisticated patient portals. Such technologies can meet information needs, but concerning racial and ethnic disparities have been observed in their use. Complex social, economic, and cognitive factors are likely to contribute to the willingness to use technologies. Knowledge about patient and caregiver characteristics, information needs, and preferences could guide the design and support the adoption of health information technologies. This project will create an extensive knowledge base of characteristics, information needs, and management strategies of pregnant women and caregivers seen in the group prenatal care setting at the Vanderbilt Center for Women's Heath and at the Junior League Fetal Center at Vanderbilt. The research team will assess characteristics, capacities, and beliefs using validated surveys, interviews, and home visits at intervals during and after pregnancy. Demographics, socioeconomic factors, health literacy, numeracy, stress level, locus of control, technology usage and skills, mood, sleepiness, and home environment will be evaluated. Web site, blog, and micro-blog use will be studied. Information needs, management strategies, and preferences will be determined using sequential interviews and participant journals. This work will describe the types of information needs, the contexts in which they occur, and resources used to meet them. Patterns of needs and management strategies will be defined using the illness trajectory conceptual framework. Participants will be trained to use the MyHealthAtVanderbilt patient portal, and the research team will study how this portal is employed to meet information needs. Characteristics, capacities, and beliefs will be correlated with information needs, management strategies, and portal usage. This study will produce a robust understanding of consumer health information needs, management strategies, and preferences in perinatal setting and will provide broad design guidance for the creation of relevant health information technologies for pregnant women and their caregivers using established human factors engineering and user-centered design methods.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research project is a comprehensive study to investigate the characteristics, health information needs and information management practices of pregnant women and their caregivers to inform the design of health information technologies. Pregnant women and their caregivers have diverse and important information needs, and an understanding of those needs and how to meet them could improve prenatal care and produce better maternal and fetal outcomes. Patients and families are increasingly turning to the Internet and health information technologies to manage health-related information, and knowledge about patient and caregiver characteristics, information needs, and preferences could guide the design and support the adoption of health information technologies.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HS021496-02
Application #
8705394
Study Section
Health Care Quality and Effectiveness Research (HQER)
Program Officer
White, Jon
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department
Surgery
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
Nashville
State
TN
Country
United States
Zip Code
37212