Evaluation of Health Information Websites on Labor and Birth Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • English, Cara
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
  • The Internet is a leading source of information for women during pregnancy with 99% of pregnant women accessing web-based health information related to pregnancy and birth weekly (Declercq, Sakala, Corry, Applebaum, & Herrlich, 2013b). A plethora of information on birth is available through the Internet (Daniels & Welder, 2015; Jolivet & Corry, 2010; Lothian, 2008), yet there are no guidelines or recommendations to direct women to credible websites to prepare for an in-hospital birth. In general, providers are unaware of the health sites their patients access (Martin & Robb, 2013; Weston & Anderson, 2014). There is a need for evidence to inform providers regarding websites they can confidently recommend to patients. The literature is lacking studies that have evaluated health information websites, specifically those related to women’s health. The purpose of this DNP project was to critically evaluate websites pregnant women commonly used for labor and birth information, identify areas in which websites are deficient, and provide information to fill the gap. Websites were evaluated using Health Information Technology Institute (HITI) criteria, Flesch reading ease scale, and Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Content on induction of labor (IOL) and pain management was evaluated based on current, evidence-based information. Although government websites met the majority of the criteria, no website met all target criteria. Therefore, I created a model website using HITI and readability criteria with evidence-based content on IOL and pain management during labor and birth. Feedback on the website by a sample of stakeholders (n = 9) was positive. The project adds to the literature by providing evaluative information about health information websites used by pregnant women seeking information about labor and birth. Providers can utilize the results of the project to formulate recommendations about the most credible websites for their patients. While there is currently no perfect website, this evaluation notes that government websites provided the highest quality information. This project highlights the need for additional evaluation of websites used by pregnant women and the need for discussions between women and providers on Internet use in order for providers to confidently guide patients to accurate and complete information.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Travers, Debbie
  • Zomorodi, Meg
  • Alden, Kathryn
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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