Health information needs of pregnant women:
information sources, motives and barriers
Sudabeh Kamali*, Leila Ahmadian
, Reza Khajouei
& Kambiz Bahaadinbeigy
*Health Information Sciences Department, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran,
Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, and
Services Management Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences,
Background: Pregnant women should be provided with relevant and useful information to manage this
speciﬁc period of their lives. Assessing information needs of this group is a prerequisite for providing this
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the information needs of pregnant women during their
pregnancy and childbirth.
Methods: This descriptive study was conducted on the pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics
and obstetricians/gynaecologists’ ofﬁces in Kerman, Iran, in 2015. Data were collected using a self-admi-
nistered, valid and reliable questionnaire. A total of 400 women participated in the study.
Findings: Most pregnant women needed information about care of the foetus (n = 344, 86%), physical
and psychological complications after delivery (n = 333, 83%), development and growth of the foetus
(n = 330, 82.5%), pregnancy nutrition (n = 327, 82%) and special tests during pregnancy (n = 326,
81.5%). They mostly (n = 195, 49%) looked for information when they were suffering from a disease or
Conclusions: As pregnant women need extensive information to be able to take care of themselves and
their babies, their information needs should be identiﬁed and taken into consideration when planning edu-
cational programmes for this group of women.
Keywords: consumer health information; health information needs; information needs analysis; information
Understanding information on childbirth is critical in performing useful interventions for pregnant
Pregnant women need a large amount of information concerning pregnancy and childbirth, as well
as information obtained from their health care providers
Mothers need different information during pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.
As information from health care professionals is the most important source of information, it
should be tailored to women’s individual needs, and other sources of information should be
provided in order to give women informed choices.
Pregnancy and childbirth is a major developmental
period in women’s life. Access to useful and
relevant information in this period is crucial for
Correspondence: Leila Ahmadian, Kerman University of Medical
Sciences, Haftbagh Highway, Kerman 7616911313, Iran. E-mail:
© 2017 Health Libraries Group
Health Information & Libraries Journal, 35, pp. 24–37