In November 2006, an email-based health promotion program for pregnant women was implemented nationally in the Netherlands. The program consisted of emails containing quizzes with pregnancy-related questions tailored to the number of weeks of pregnancy. Emails were sent out once every 4 weeks, up to a maximum of nine emails.
The aims of the study were (1) to assess the recruitment of participants and their representativeness of the Dutch population and (2) to study differences in recruitment, program use, and program appreciation among women with different levels of education.
Methods: Data from 13,946 pregnant women who enrolled during the first year of the program were included. Upon registration, participants were asked how they found out about the program and subsequently received an email questionnaire to assess demographic, lifestyle, and Internet characteristics. Program use was tracked, and participants were classified into five user groups (inactive to very active). Program appreciation (low, intermediate, and high) was assessed twice with an email questionnaire that was sent after the woman had received her third and sixth quiz email. Information about pregnant women and their characteristics was obtained from Dutch registries to assess representativeness of the study population.
About 8% of the pregnant women in the Netherlands enrolled in the program. Immigrants were underrepresented, and women with a low level of education seemed to be slightly underrepresented. Most women knew about the program from a promotional email sent by the organization (32%), followed by the Internet (22%) and midwives (16%). Women with little education were more often inactive users of the program than were highly educated women (15% vs 11%, P < .001), whereas highly educated women were more often very active users compared with women with little education (25% vs 20%, P< .001). However, women with less education were more likely than women with more education to have a high appreciation of the program after receiving three quiz emails (52% vs 44%, P = .001).
In this real-life setting, pregnant women can be reached through an email-based health promotion program. Selective engagement by education level remains a challenge.
Bot, Mariska, Ivon E.J. Milder, and Wanda J.E. Bemelmans. "Nationwide Implementation of Hello World: A Dutch Email-Based Health Promotion Program for Pregnant Women." Journal of Medical Internet Research 11, no. 3 (July 30, 2009): e24. Â