Health Management in the Home: A Qualitative Study of Pregnant Women and Their Caregivers

J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec;7(6):1227-1233. doi: 10.1177/2374373520948442. Epub 2020 Aug 14.


With growth in consumer health technologies, patients and caregivers have become increasingly involved in their health and medical care. Such health-related engagement often occurs at home. Pregnancy is a common condition and, for many women, their first exposure to health management practices. This study examined how pregnant women and caregivers managed health in their homes. Participants completed sociodemographic surveys and semi-structured interviews about living situation, information needs, and technology use. Using an iterative, inductive coding approach, we identified themes about health management, including the physical home, help at home, community, the virtual home, and biggest concerns. Most expectant mothers encountered everyday problems with mobility and household management. Pregnant women desired more assistance from caregivers, who often did not know how to help. Caregivers who provided help took on new roles. Many expectant families did not trust advice found online. Over half of expectant families had biggest concerns that involved the home.

Keywords: caregiving; challenges; environmental design; health information technology.