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Pregnant Families' Discussions on the Net—From Virtual Connections Toward Real-Life Community

Authors

  • Pirkko Kouri MNSc, PhD,

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      Pirkko Kouri, MNSc, PhD, Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland. E-mail: Pirkko.Kouri@savonia-amk.fi
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    • Pirkko Kouri, MNSc, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Technology at Savonia Polytechnic, Health Professions, in Kuopio.

  • Hannele Turunen PhD,

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    • Hannele Turunen, PhD, Docent, is Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.

  • Kerttu Tossavainen PhD,

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    • Kerttu Tossavainen, PhD, is Professor, Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.

  • Seppo Saarikoski MD, PhD

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    • Seppo Saarikoski, MD, PhD, is Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kuopio, and Professor and Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.


Pirkko Kouri, MNSc, PhD, Department of Nursing Science, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland. E-mail: Pirkko.Kouri@savonia-amk.fi

Abstract

The aim of this research was to analyze conversations between expectant families (N = 21) in Net Clinic, an Internet-based service designed for patients using public maternity care. The online conversations, shared opinions about experiences of pregnancy, and family life constituted the data for content analysis. The families developed a sense of virtual community, which gradually evolved into a real-life community, by discovering the similarity of their life situations and by giving parent-to-parent support for everyday life events. As a view of daily family life, Net Clinic offers maternity care professionals a deeper understanding of how to enhance safer pregnancy, birth, and growth of the family.

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