Background: Pregnancy is a risk factor for severe influenza resulting in increased risks of hospitalisation and death in mothers and their new-borns. Our objective was to assess the representativeness and participation of French women to a new web-based collaborative tool for data collection and monitoring of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) during pregnancy.
Methods: During the 2014/2015 influenza season, pregnant women living in metropolitan France were enrolled through a web platform ( https://www.grippenet.fr/). Then throughout the season, participants were asked to report, on a weekly basis, if they had experienced symptoms of ILI. Representativeness was assessed by comparing the characteristics of participants to those of the French National Perinatal Survey. For each participant, the participation rate was the number of weekly questionnaires completed, divided by the length of follow-up (in weeks). Predictors of active participation (participation rate >15%) were assessed by multivariate logistic regression.
Results: A total of 153 women were enrolled. Participants were older (mean age 34 years vs. 29 years) and more highly educated (high school level 89% versus 52%) than the general population of pregnant women in France, but the sample did not differ on pregnancy-related characteristics (parity, history of hospitalisation during a previous pregnancy). The median rate of participation was high (78%, interquartile range: 34-96). Higher educational level and participation to a previous GrippeNet.fr season were associated with active participation.
Conclusion: Despite small sample size and lack of representativeness, the retention rate was high, suggesting that pregnant women are prone to adhere to a longitudinal follow-up of their health status via the Internet.
Keywords: Incidence; Influenza; Pregnancy; Surveillance; Web-based study.