Users of the healthtalk.org breastfeeding webpages; their characteristics and views

Authors: Angell, C., Hundley, V., van teijlingen, E. and ryan, K.

Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery

Volume: 13

Issue: 2

Pages: 54-58

ISSN: 1479-4489

Background. The internet is a popular source of health information, and infant-feeding webpages are being increasingly used by breastfeeding women to gain information and support. Identifying who uses infant-feeding webpages and the impact they have on knowledge and behaviour is key to understanding the potential of online resources.

Aim. The aim was to identify the users of the healthtalk.org breastfeeding pages, their roles and their opinions on breastfeeding.

Method. In 2012-13, users accessing the breastfeeding webpages on healthtalk.org were surveyed to identify user characteristics, website usage and impact. Ethical approval for the research was agreed by Bournemouth University ethics committee.

Results. A total of 178 users participated in the survey. Many of the users who completed the survey were health professionals or healthcare students. More than half planned to use the practical information they had gained, while nearly all said they had or would recommend the webpages to other people. Users found the website easy to use and there was some evidence to show that videos describing women’s personal breastfeeding stories were the preferred format for gaining information and support.

Conclusions. While some studies show that healthcare professionals may find client use of online resources challenging, this study demonstrates that evidence-based breastfeeding resources can provide accessible, useful information. At a time when UK midwifery services are stretched, there may be considerable benefits for midwives in recognising the information and support gained by women from online sources, and in identifying high-quality and accessible webpages so that they can confidently recommend them to women.

Key words: Infant feeding, internet, health information, Dipex, evidence-based midwifery

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Angell, C., Van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. and Ryan, K.

Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery

Volume: 13

Issue: 2

Pages: 54-58

ISSN: 1479-4489

© 2015 The Royal College of Midwives. Background. The internet is a popular source of health information, and infant-feeding webpages are being increasingly used by breastfeeding women to gain information and support. Identifying who uses infant-feeding webpages and the impact they have on knowledge and behaviour is key to understanding the potential of online resources. Aim. The aim was to identify the users of the healthtalk.org breastfeeding pages, their roles and their opinions on breastfeeding. Method. In 2012-13, users accessing the breastfeeding webpages on healthtalk.org were surveyed to identify user characteristics, website usage and impact. Ethical approval for the research was agreed by Bournemouth University ethics committee. Results. A total of 178 users participated in the survey. Many of the users who completed the survey were health professionals or healthcare students. More than half planned to use the practical information they had gained, while nearly all said they had or would recommend the webpages to other people. Users found the website easy to use and there was some evidence to show that videos describing women's personal breastfeeding stories were the preferred format for gaining information and support. Conclusions. While some studies show that healthcare professionals may find client use of online resources challenging, this study demonstrates that evidence-based breastfeeding resources can provide accessible, useful information. At a time when UK midwifery services are stretched, there may be considerable benefits for midwives in recognising the information and support gained by women from online sources, and in identifying high-quality and accessible webpages so that they can confidently recommend them to women.

The data on this page was last updated at 11:36 on July 1, 2020.