Original Research

Information-seeking in first visit pregnant women in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Thabani M. Noncungu, Jennifer A. Chipps
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 25 | a1478 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v25i0.1478 | © 2020 Thabani M. Noncungu, Jennifer A. Chipps | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 May 2020 | Published: 28 October 2020

About the author(s)

Thabani M. Noncungu, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Jennifer A. Chipps, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

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Background: The quality of the decisions made by women during pregnancy, especially their first visit, depends on their health needs, their health-seeking behaviour and the type of information available to them.

Aim: This study describes the health education needs, information barriers and health information-seeking behaviour of pregnant women on their first visit to antenatal clinics in a low-income setting in the Western Cape.

Setting: The setting was two antenatal facilities in Khayelitsha Health District facilities in South Africa.

Methods: A quantitative descriptive survey was conducted. A systematic random sample of 261 antenatal first visit attendees between May and July 2016 was selected. Data were collected using a researcher-administered questionnaire and was analysed using descriptive statistics, 95% confidence intervals and non-parametric tests.

Results: The response rate of the study was 92% (n = 240). Pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic for the first time reported high information needs with low health information-seeking behaviours and high information barriers. Doctors, nurses (2.2, ±1.0), family and friends (2.0, ±0.6) were the most frequently used sources of health information, while watching television or listening to the radio (1.5, ±0.9) were the least used sources of health information. Having a medical diagnosis (p < 0.001) and being of an advanced maternal age (p = 0.005) were predictive of higher health-seeking behaviour. The reliance on passively receiving information from health sources may indicate low levels of health literacy and its inverse relationship to health promoting behaviours which should be the subject of further investigation.


maternal health; health education; antenatal clinic; low-income setting; information-seeking behaviour; pregnant women; antenatal care; maternal health literacy


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