Breastfeeding education in university nursing programs
Penny R. Marzalik, PhD, IBCLC
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Past goals, future goals, and current statistics regarding breastfeeding rates in the United States support the need for university programs to address the topic of breastfeeding education. Currently, exclusive breastfeeding rates are 46.3% initiation and 17.2% continuation at 6 months of age, well below the goals of 75% initiation and 50% continuation. Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals, and research has shown that their care influences women's breastfeeding experience. The literature informs us that although nurses most often have positive attitudes towards breastfeeding, they lack knowledge about breastfeeding support.
The purpose of this study was to describe the current state of breastfeeding education in university nursing programs, determine the knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy scores of senior nursing students, and identify factors associated with higher knowledge and attitude scores, Albert Bandura's Social cognitive theory, as applied to behavioral change, provided the theoretical framework for the study.
Results from a 78-item Web-based national survey of 385 senior nursing students from 36 randomly selected U.S. baccalaureate nursing programs were analyzed. The use of traditional modalities for teaching and evaluating breastfeeding knowledge (lecture by nursing faculty, use of a textbook, written test questions) prevailed. Despite low knowledge scores and supportive attitude scores students were confident in their ability to support breastfeeding. Personal breastfeeding experience explained the greatest variance for both knowledge and attitude scores while program characteristics explained the least. Instructional characteristics associated with higher knowledge and attitude scores were feedback to students on their breastfeeding support skills and student utilization of social supports such as LaLeche League.
Recommendations include structured feedback from faculty, such as evaluation of the nursing student's performance on a standardized breastfeeding support simulation. Also, didactic content and clinical experience should model the use of breastfeeding social supports.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3126830; ProQuest document ID: 305077365. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Quantitative Research|
Social Cognitive Theory;
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