Evaluating the effects of an Internet education programme on newborn care in Taiwan

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Abstract

Aim.

The objectives of this study were to evaluate an Internet education programme provided to primigravida in the third trimester of pregnancy with the aim of enhancing mothers' knowledge about newborn care and increasing their maternal confidence.

Background.

Shorter hospital stays have had an impact on the traditional role of mother–baby nurses in providing education about parenting to their parturient women. Internet education is an efficient way to provide nursing instruction.

Design.

A randomised controlled trial was used. A total of 118 women receiving prenatal care in a hospital clinic who met study criteria and who consented were assigned randomly to intervention and control groups. The study was conducted at a hospital in Taiwan.

Methods.

The target population was women at 32–34 weeks gestation, using the Internet on a regular basis. The primigravida were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 57) or the experimental group (n = 61). Two primary outcome measures were newborn-care knowledge and maternal confidence.

Results.

The changes in newborn-care knowledge were 7·21 for the experimental group, compared with 1·95 for the control group; the difference between the least-squares means computed by ancova was 5·73 and statistically significant (p < 0·001). The changes in maternal confidence were 8·46 for the experimental group and 3·05 for the control group; the difference between the least-squares means computed by ancova was 5·94 and statistically significant (p < 0·001).

Conclusion.

Results suggest that Internet education about newborn care may contribute to greater care knowledge and maternal confidence.

Relevance to clinical practice.

Internet newborn-care education programmes can achieve success in promoting newborn care and provide health professionals with evidence-based intervention.

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