We report a study of peer support in online health communities for pregnancy care along three gestational stages (trimesters) to investigate how pregnant women seek and receive peer support during different stages of pregnancy. Using Babycenter.com as our research setting, we found that pregnant women sought peer support due to constrained access to healthcare providers, dissatisfaction with healthcare services/medical advice, limited offline social support, and unavailability of information in other venues. While the particular topics of concern typifying each trimester were distinct, pregnant women consistently sought advice, informal and formal knowledge, reassurance, and emotional support from peers during each stage of pregnancy. BabyCenter.com peers provided support by leveraging their own experiential knowledge and passing along clinical expertise acquired during the course of their own healthcare. We discuss design implications for health services and IT systems that meet pregnant women's temporal and multi-faceted needs during prenatal care.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction|
|State||Published - Nov 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Networks and Communications