Physio develops evidence-based women’s health website for Glasgow maternity hospital

A physiotherapist has updated a hospital website to provide evidence-based information about women’s health issues and self-management advice about issues like pregnancy-related aches and pains.

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Obstetric and gynaecology physio Christina Smith

Obstetric and gynaecology physio Christina Smith, who works for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, produced the updated website for the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow.

She told Frontline: ‘Nowadays everyone uses technology and search engines to find information, so I thought why not provide safe, appropriate, evidence-based information online so women can access it - instead of them finding information elsewhere, which may cause more harm than good.

'Having this material online will give women who face geographical, socioeconomic or personal challenges the ability to access evidence-based information easily.’
 
Ms Smith added that the initial idea for updating the website came from one of her colleagues, lead specialist physiotherapist Evelyn Linton.

‘She completed Umbraco software training about four years ago and was able to publish basic details like our contact information and information about our antenatal education classes,’ she explained.

After this, Ms Smith accepted an opportunity to take part in a service improvement project to develop the website further.

She undertook relevant software training last year, and then began compiling ideas about how the site could be improved.

‘Our aim for the website was to empower and promote women’s health awareness, such as sensitive issues like pelvic floor dysfunction, modernise our service and offer an educational resource for women about ante and post-natal care.’

Empowering patients

Ms Smith also gained inspiration from the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Strategy, which was published earlier this year and aims to educate and empower patients.

‘The Scottish Government want to empower people and put them in control of their own health and well-being, so when I saw their publication I was very excited because it aligned with what I wanted to achieve with the website.

‘This project has not only enhanced our service but also our service efficiency as we are allowing our patients to be proactive and take control of their health, which is in line with the 2020 vision for Scottish health care – which focuses on prevention and self-management.’

Improved service efficiency

Commenting on the website, Euan McComiskie, UK health informatics lead at the CSP, said: ‘This is a good example of physiotherapy services sharing information directly with the public to increase awareness of sensitive issues and to offer self-management advice.
 
‘One of the expected by-products will no doubt be improved service efficiency with patients beginning their physiotherapy journey before their first appointment. Proactive work like this needs to be encouraged.’

Ongoing improvements

As well as offering self-management advice to patients, the website also provides details all the physiotherapy services available at Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.

These include outpatient physiotherapy appointments for ante and post-natal women with MSK related conditions such as pelvic pain, low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Plus group classes, for antenatal education and post-natal rehabilitation, and inpatient antenatal and post-operative gynaecology care.

Ms Smith said she hopes to expand and improve the website as time goes on.

‘Next year I hope to be able to work on its promotion, design, accessibility, and user friendliness for women to access,’ she said.

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QR code for the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital physiotherapy website
 

 

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by Robert Millett

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