Background: Antenatal classes and teaching by midwives are a mainstay of antenatal education. Several issues that have been identified with this are that more rurally located, younger, unmarried, more socially deprived women are less likely to attend. A new method was investigated to attempt to increase accessibility to these women, particularly to women located in the sparsely populated highlands.
Methods: Four informative podcasts containing antenatal information were developed based on the results of a preliminary survey of a sample of pregnant women asking what they felt they needed more information on. All pregnant women within NHS Highland due to deliver between December 2015 and March 2016 were sent letters inviting them to listen to the podcasts. Each was given a unique ID code to login with for analysis purposes. The Scottish 6-fold Urban Rural Classification status was compared between listeners and non-listeners.
Results: Thirty-three women of 423 accessed the podcasts. More rural women were found to be significantly more likely than urban women to access the podcasts when 6 fold Urban-Rural classification was compared (p=0.002).
Discussion: The fact that rural women were more likely to access the podcasts, despite the fact they are less likely to attend antenatal classes, means that there is the potential that these podcasts or a similar web based intervention could increase accessibility to antenatal education to this group. Despite the low response rate this cheap intervention could still be considered worthwhile. A questionnaire has been sent out to determine listener’s views.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.