Navigation Links
After pregnancy loss, Internet forums help women understand they are not alone
Date:10/19/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Nearly one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth, but parents' losses are frequently minimized or not acknowledged by friends, family or the community.

"Women who have not gone through a stillbirth don't want to hear about my birth, or what my daughter looked like, or anything about my experience," said one woman, responding in a University of Michigan Health System-led study that explored how Internet communities and message boards increasingly provide a place for women to share feelings about these life-altering experiences.

The anonymous survey of more than 1,000 women on 18 message boards opens a new window into who is using the forums and why. The findings will be published in Women's Health Issues.

The researchers were surprised to find that only half of the women surveyed were in their first year of loss after a pregnancy. Many were still coping with the emotional impacts five, 10 and even 20 years later.

"To my family and most friends, the twins have been gone for nearly a year and are entirely a subject for the past," another woman wrote.

A second unexpected finding was that only 2 percent of survey respondents were African American, despite nearly 60 percent of African Americans having internet access and despite black women having twice the risk of stillbirth as white women.

"This is the largest study to look at who uses Internet message boards after a pregnancy loss and it demonstrates a significant disparity between the women who experience loss and those who responded to the survey," says lead study author Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School. "This suggests an important gap in support for African American parents that should be explored further."

By far, the most common reason women gave for participating in the message boards was that it helped them to feel that their experience wasn't unique.

One woman explained that the most important aspect of the forums was knowing "that I am not the only one this has happened to and that I am not alone in this horrible nightmare."

Another common theme was that the online environments provided a safe and validating space for the women to express themselves. Others appreciated the ease and convenience of the Internet and their ability to spend more time composing their thoughts than they would be able to in a face-to-face conversation.

Most participants agreed that boards should have a moderator or facilitator, and that health care professionals should participate. Of the 908 women who answered the question, 82 percent said they had learned new medical information from one of the forums.

"The fact that so many women learned new medical information from the message boards shows what an important resource they can be in this regard," says study senior author Christie Palladino, M.D., M.Sc., an obstetrician/gynecologist with Georgia Health Sciences University's Education Discovery Institute.

Gold and her colleagues are currently pursuing similar research with bereaved parents who attend in-person support groups and plan to compare and contrast the results.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Older women still suffer from hot flushes and night sweats years after the menopause finds study
2. 3 factors could point to your fate after surgery
3. Katrinas Aftermath: Failed Pregnancies for IVF Moms Nationwide
4. Blood Type May Affect Survival After Heart Bypass
5. White Kids More Likely to Get CT Scans After Head Trauma
6. Blacks Fare Worse Than Whites After Colon Cancer Surgery
7. Looking for a link between seizures and migraine after traumatic brain injury in soldiers
8. Certain After-Stroke Treatments May Boost Outcome
9. Annual cost of violence pegged at $6.9 billion after women leave abusive partners, UBC research
10. After Stroke, Crossed Legs a Welcome Sign
11. Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancers recurrence after radiation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Everseat has joined the award-winning Allscripts ... physicians. The integration will enable Allscripts users to post open appointments to the ... app. , The partnership gives Everseat substantial added power to help Allscripts meet ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Workrite Ergonomics, who is celebrating their 25th ... humble beginnings to being an internationally recognized leader in their industry. , "We are ... Charlie Lawrence, President of Workrite. “Workrite recognized the importance of good ergonomics before ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Western University ... free oral screenings to 150 children in kindergarten through third grade at Hurley ... Dental Medicine joined Chinese American Dental Society of Southern California volunteers for Give ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... It’s that ... Traci Davis, the new president of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), Hall ... well how quickly fitness goals are cast aside. , That’s why one of her ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... , ... February is Heart Awareness Month, and to celebrate Health Quest Chiropractic ... the American Heart Association, New Mexico chapter. , A Heart Rate Variability (HRV) scan ... INSiGHT Pulse Wave Profiler utilizes a non-invasive technology to determine a heart’s ability to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 On Tuesday, February 9th, the ... with its Arthritis Advisory Committee to discuss ... & Johnson,s Remicade and most likely the ... U.S. The Biologics Prescribers Collaborative (BPC) along ... for Patient Access, American Association of Clinical ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... aims to ensure 2,50,532 children between the ages ... th birthday   --> The campaign ... - 5 years reach the milestone of their 5 ... aims to ensure 2,50,532 children between the ages of 2 ... birthday   India , have launched the "Joy of Five" ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... -- Misonix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON ), an international ... innovative therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine surgery, skull-based ... and other surgical applications, today announced financial results ... of fiscal year 2016 ended December 31, 2015. ... Highlights for the second quarter and first ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: