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The Influence of Social Media on Intrapartum Decision Making

A Scoping Review

Wright, Erin M. DNP, CNM, APHN-BC; Matthai, Maude Theo MSN-PH, CNM; Meyer, Erin BA, BFA, MSN, RN

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October/December 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 291–300
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000377
Feature Articles

Social media has been influential in decision making regarding a number of health concerns. However, comparatively little has been examined with regard to its effects on pregnant women. The goal of this scoping review was to examine the literature and identify the role of social media in intrapartum decision making. A scoping review of the literature published between January 1990 and June 2018 was performed using PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. Of the initial 1951 records reviewed, 5 met inclusion criteria. Two of the 5 were quantitative in design, 1 was qualitative, and 2 used mixed methods. Internationally widespread, studies largely took place in developed nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland. Women are using the Internet, including social media, consistently as a source of pregnancy information, for example, 97% of 2400 participates in 1 exploratory study. This knowledge seeking was found to increase women's confidence and self-assurance in making decision during labor and birth. Studies identified issues surrounding women's ability to appraise available information. While it is clear that social media has an influence on women's intrapartum decision making, it is not clear exactly how. Further studies are needed to determine the content of the social media being appraised, the accuracy of the information, and the resulting decision as it affects the intrapartum experience. In addition, efforts should be made to open lines of communication between patients and care providers. This may foster a greater clinical understanding of social media consumption and its influences.

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Wright).

Corresponding Author: Erin M. Wright, DNP, CNM, APHN-BC, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 525 N Wolfe St, Ste 454, Baltimore, MD 21205 (

Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship.

Submitted for publication: July 18, 2018; accepted for publication: September 30, 2018.

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