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New study finds that the availability of online information has the potential to improve high-risk pregnancy outcomes

NEWS RELEASE  April 17, 2013

Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital have found that creating simple web-based information about placenta complications can significantly reduce anxiety and increase awareness in women with high-risk pregnancies, potentially improving their outcomes. Maternal anxiety during pregnancy can have physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional impact and the just released study illustrates the importance of providing informative tools for patients. 

The study, released in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada was authored by Dr. John Kingdom, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital and co-founder of the Mount Sinai Hospital Placenta Clinic and Melissa Walker, University of Toronto Medicine 2014. A corresponding editorial in the journal supports the need to provide women who are suffering from complications during pregnancy with education because it has the potential to improve pregnancy outcomes.

Patients from Mount Sinai’s Placenta Clinic were included in the study that looked at a patient’s knowledge of basic placenta terms and placental complications at their first appointment and their maternal anxiety. The study found that after the women reviewed the Placenta Clinic website, knowledge about their conditions significantly improved (from 10.5 at baseline to 23 at follow-up appointment) and their anxiety was significantly reduced (from 12 at baseline to 8.5).

Mount Sinai’s Placenta Clinic is one of the only multidisciplinary environments that care for patients with a wide range of placental diseases in the world. The facility, part of Mount Sinai’s Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health, brings together the expertise of obstetric and medical specialists, pathologists, clinical trainees and scientists.

The study was funded by Rose Torno summer studentships. Dr. John Kingdom holds the Rose Torno Chair at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

“We were able to demonstrate significant changes in knowledge and anxiety in these patients after they accessed our Placenta Clinic website. These results demonstrate the importance of directing research and clinical resources into the development of disease-specific websites for women facing high-risk pregnancies because they have the potential to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable patients.”
Dr. John Kingdom, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist and Rose Torno Chair at Mount Sinai Hospital, Associate Member of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital and Chair of the University of Toronto’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Quick Facts
• Almost 7.000 babies are born at Mount Sinai Hospital each year including 1,600 high-risk pregnancies.
• Approximately 8% of first-time pregnancies are affected by placenta complications such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction.
• According to Statistics Canada, almost 70% of Canadians use the internet to obtain health- or medical-related information
• To learn more about Mount Sinai’s Placenta Clinic, visit:

About Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital is as an internationally recognized 446-bed acute care academic health sciences centre affiliated with the University of Toronto that is dedicated to delivering the best medicine and best patient experience. It is focused on excellence in patient and family-centred care, innovative education and leading-edge research. Clinical strengths include women’s and infants’ health, chronic disease management, specialized cancer, emergency and acute medicine, and geriatrics.  The hospital has been designated with Exemplary Status from Accreditation Canada and every aspect of patient care is anchored in a rigorous quality plan and monitoring of safety and quality goals.  Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute ranks in the top 2.5% of biomedical research institutes in the world. The Hospital is considered to be a top employer in Canada, receiving multiple awards for its employment and culture centred programs.

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For more information, please contact:
Leslie O’Leary
Senior Specialist, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Mount Sinai Hospital
Telephone: 416-586-4800 ext. 8306