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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Apr;35(4):334-339. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(15)30961-0.

Web-based education for placental complications of pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto ON.


in English, French


The objective of this study was to determine whether a web-based education strategy could improve maternal knowledge of placental complications of pregnancy and reduce maternal anxiety in high risk-pregnancies.


Prospective study in the Placenta Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Maternal demographics and Internet usage were recorded at the patient's baseline appointment. Placental knowledge was determined using structured verbal and illustrative assessments. The six-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered to assess baseline maternal anxiety. Women were asked to visit the Placenta Clinic website for a minimum of 15 minutes before their follow-up appointment, at which time their placental knowledge and STAI assessments were repeated.


Eighteen women were included in the study. Patient knowledge at the baseline appointment was generally poor (median score 10.5 out of a maximum score of 27, range 1 to 22), with major deficits in basic placental knowledge, placenta previa/increta, and preeclampsia. At the follow-up appointment, placental knowledge was significantly improved (median score 23, range 10 to 27; P < 0.001). Educational status (high school or less vs. college or more) had no effect on either baseline knowledge or knowledge improvement. Maternal anxiety at baseline (median score 12 out of a maximum score of 24, range 6 to 23) was significantly reduced at the follow-up appointment (median score 8.5, range 6 to 20; P = 0.005).


Deficits in maternal knowledge of placental complications of pregnancy in high-risk pregnant women were substantial but easily rectified with a disease-targeted web-based educational resource. This intervention significantly improved patient knowledge and significantly reduced maternal anxiety.


Internet-based education; anxiety; intrauterine growth restriction; patient knowledge; placenta; preeclampsia

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