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Breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes of health professional students: A systematic review

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Breastfeeding support from health professionals can be effective in influencing a mother's decision to initiate and maintain breastfeeding. However, health professionals, including nursing students, do not always receive adequate breastfeeding education during their foundational education programme to effectively help mothers. In this paper, we report on a systematic review of the literature that aimed to describe nursing and other health professional students' knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding, and examine educational interventions designed to increase breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes amongst health professional students. Methods: A systematic review of peer reviewed literature was performed. The search for literature was conducted utilising six electronic databases, CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane, for studies published in English from January 2000 to March 2017. Studies focused on nursing students' or other health professional students' knowledge, attitudes or experiences related to breastfeeding. Intervention studies to improve knowledge and attitudes, were also included. All papers were reviewed using the relevant Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Results: Fourteen studies were included in the review. This review indicates that in some settings, health professional students demonstrated mid-range scores on breastfeeding attitudes, and their knowledge of breastfeeding was limited, particularly in relation to breastfeeding assessment and management. All of the studies that tested a specialised breastfeeding education programme, appeared to increase nursing students' knowledge overall or aspects of their knowledge related to breastfeeding. Several factors were found to influence breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes, including timing of maternal and child health curriculum component, previous personal breastfeeding experience, gender, cultural practices and government legislation. Conclusions: Based on this review, it appears that nursing curriculum, or specialised programmes that emphasise the importance of breastfeeding initiation, can improve breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes and students' confidence in helping and guiding breastfeeding mothers.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Yang, S. F., Salamonson, Y., Burns, E., & Schmied, V. (2018). Breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes of health professional students: A systematic review. International Breastfeeding Journal, 13(1). doi:10.1186/s13006-018-0153-1

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85042538422

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Background: Breastfeeding support from health professionals can be effective in influencing a mother's decision to initiate and maintain breastfeeding. However, health professionals, including nursing students, do not always receive adequate breastfeeding education during their foundational education programme to effectively help mothers. In this paper, we report on a systematic review of the literature that aimed to describe nursing and other health professional students' knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding, and examine educational interventions designed to increase breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes amongst health professional students. Methods: A systematic review of peer reviewed literature was performed. The search for literature was conducted utilising six electronic databases, CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane, for studies published in English from January 2000 to March 2017. Studies focused on nursing students' or other health professional students' knowledge, attitudes or experiences related to breastfeeding. Intervention studies to improve knowledge and attitudes, were also included. All papers were reviewed using the relevant Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Results: Fourteen studies were included in the review. This review indicates that in some settings, health professional students demonstrated mid-range scores on breastfeeding attitudes, and their knowledge of breastfeeding was limited, particularly in relation to breastfeeding assessment and management. All of the studies that tested a specialised breastfeeding education programme, appeared to increase nursing students' knowledge overall or aspects of their knowledge related to breastfeeding. Several factors were found to influence breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes, including timing of maternal and child health curriculum component, previous personal breastfeeding experience, gender, cultural practices and government legislation. Conclusions: Based on this review, it appears that nursing curriculum, or specialised programmes that emphasise the importance of breastfeeding initiation, can improve breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes and students' confidence in helping and guiding breastfeeding mothers.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Yang, S. F., Salamonson, Y., Burns, E., & Schmied, V. (2018). Breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes of health professional students: A systematic review. International Breastfeeding Journal, 13(1). doi:10.1186/s13006-018-0153-1

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85042538422

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication