Public health professionals are committed to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices by providing support, information, and resources on breastfeeding. However, public health nurses and nutritionists continue to report time constraints and knowledge deficits as significant barriers to providing adequate and appropriate education and support for breastfeeding. Many health agencies, facing similar challenges, are turning to the use of Web-based systems for promoting healthy lifestyles. This study will examine the effectiveness of Web-based programs for improving breastfeeding self-efficacy, a major determinant of breastfeeding outcomes.
Methods. Pregnant women on WIC who met eligibility requirements and completed consent forms were randomly assigned to either a six-week Web-based intervention group or a usual care control group. The theory of breastfeeding self-efficacy was used as a framework to determine if there was a significant difference in breastfeeding self-efficacy posttest scores between the intervention group and the control group.
Results. One hundred and forty five pregnant women on WIC were screened by health department nutritionists for eligibility and willingness to participate in the study. Twenty-three participants completed consent and pretest forms, were randomly assigned to groups, and participated in the study. After adjusting for pre-intervention scores, there was a significant difference between the intervention and control groups on the BSES-SF posttest scores (F[1,20] = 8.045, p = .01, η p2 = .29). The control group's BSES-SF posttest estimated marginal mean score (M = 41.54, SE = 1.49) was significantly lower than the experimental group's (M = 47.68, SE = 1.56). The partial eta squared value (ηp2 = .29) indicated that breastfeeding Web-based interventions had a large effect on improving breastfeeding self-efficacy scores.
Discussion. The findings in this study indicate that combining the use of a structured intervention consisting of existing breastfeeding Websites in combination with breastfeeding peer counselors may have the potential to overcome the time and distance obstacles that many pregnant women face when trying to access clinic-based breastfeeding education and support programs. The use of peer counselor-guided Web-based interventions may empower women to learn about breastfeeding on their own schedule, in their own environment, and with an opportunity to share the learning experience with significant others in a private setting.
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Breastfeeding, Internet, Interventions, Self-efficacy, Web-based|
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