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Volume 8, Issue 2 (Summer 2022)                   JMIS 2022, 8(2): 114-125 | Back to browse issues page

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Seyyed Hossini S, Ebrahimi Davvasi S, Najafi Sharjiabad F, Khosravi Z, Khosravi A. Health Information Seeking Behaviors of Pregnant Women Referred to the Health Centers in Bushehr, Iran. JMIS 2022; 8 (2) :114-125
URL: http://jmis.hums.ac.ir/article-1-367-en.html
Department of Medical Library and Information Science, Faculty of Paramedicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran
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Information seeking behavior is a set of activities that a person performs to satisfy his/her information needs. One of the most important information needs of people is health information need. The set of activities that are carried out to meet this type of needs is known as health information seeking behavior. Many studies have been conducted on the health information needs and health information seeking behaviors, among which are issues about women, pregnancy and related fields. Women should have a set of health information; acquiring health information during pregnancy increases the mother’s knowledge and reduces her stress. Correct pregnancy care, due to correct information seeking behavior of pregnant mothers, can reduce the possibility of death due to pregnancy and childbirth. Inadequate care of a pregnant woman during pregnancy, in addition to causing problems for the health of the woman, can lead to adverse consequences in the baby such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and low birthweight. Mothers need health information seeking skills in order to be aware of health care. If these skills be favorable, they can help women in the decision-making process in pregnancy and postpartum care. The present study aims to examine the health information seeking behaviors of pregnant women referring to health centers in Bushehr, Iran.
This is a descriptive-analytical survey. The study population consists of all pregnant women referred to 10 comprehensive health centers and 7 medical centers in Bushehr city (n=1800) in 2020. After calculating the sample size with Cochran’s formula, 306 pregnant women were selected using a stratified random sampling method. In order to collect data, a health information seeking behavior questionnaire was used along with a checklist of demographic characteristics and medical and midwifery records. To collect data, a health information seeking behavior questionnaire was used along with a checklist of demographic, medical and obstetric characteristics. The face validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by 11 professors and the reliability coefficient was obtained 0.813. This self-report tool has four subscales including (a) behavior, recognition and interpersonal interactions in searching for pregnancy health information, (b) information sources, (c) active and passive receiving of information, and (d) effect of health information on the disease. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS v. 24 software. First, the normality of the data was checked using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Then, the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as analytical tests including Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test.
Only 25% of women had favorable health information seeking behavior; three quarters of them showed unfavorable information seeking behavior. The mean score of recognition and interpersonal interactions in searching for pregnancy health information was 60.09±7.66; for information sources, it was 60.09±12.92; for active and passive receiving of information, it was 47.91±12.66, and the total mean score of health information seeking behavior was 163.37±25.93.
According to the findings, there was a significant relationship between the educational level of pregnant women and their health information seeking behaviors (P=0.004). With the increase in the educational level of women, the favorable information-seeking behavior increased, such that the favorable health information-seeking behavior was reported in 12.9% of women with junior high school education, in 15.4% with diploma, and in 31.5% with university education. Other demographic variables (age, husband’s education, occupation, husband’s occupation, income level) had no significant relationship with health information-seeking behavior (P>0.05). There was a significant relationship between abortion history and health information-seeking behavior (P =0.039) such that unfavorable information-seeking behavior was reported in 72.1% of women with no history of abortion, in 77% with a history of abortion, and in 93.3% with a history of more than one abortion. Other obstetric and medical variables (number of pregnancies, wanted/unwanted pregnancy, body mass index, number of prenatal care, regular use of supplements, history of infectious diseases in recent pregnancy, and history of underlying diseases) had no significant relationship with health information-seeking behavior (P>0.05).
The results of this study showed that most of the pregnant women who referred to the health centers of Bushehr city had unfavorable health information-seeking behavior, which can be a warning for the health of the mother and the fetus and a warning for the officials and policy makers of the health sector in Iran. Acquiring skills related to health information seeking for pregnant women is of great importance due to the role it plays in increasing the public health. Based on this, in order to increase the health level of pregnant women, a platform should be developed to teach pregnant women the necessary information and the strategies to find related information. This can facilitate the process of receiving and effective use of health information by pregnant women. Since unfavorable health information-seeking behavior leads to obtaining incorrect information or lack of information, it is recommended to provide necessary training to the pregnant women in the field of information-seeking skills and providing oral and visual education in addition to written educational materials in the form of posters, pamphlets, and brochures. Considering that educational level was an effective factor in pregnant women’s health information-seeking behaviors, to minimize the effect of this factor, the health system should be developed for pregnant women with low education, using simple images and cultural examples. It is necessary to take the health information-seeking behaviors of pregnant women into consideration in planning and macroeconomic social and health policies.

Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

This study received ethical approval from the Ethics Committee of Bushehr University of Medical Sciences (Code: IR.BPUMS.REC.1399.030).

This study was extracted from the master thesis of Zahra Khosravi and received financial support from Bushehr University of Medical Sciences. 

Authors' contributions
Conceptualization: Shohreh Seyyed Hossini, Sareh Ebrahimi Davvasi, and Abdolrasool Khosravi; Writing: Shohreh Seyyed Hossini and Abdolrasool Khosravi; Data collection: Sareh Ebrahimi Davvasi; Data analysis: Zahra Khosravi and Fatemh Najafi Sharjabad.

Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/11/1 | Accepted: 2022/04/9 | Published: 2022/07/1

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