Perception and practice of Kangaroo Mother Care after discharge from hospital in Kumasi, Ghana: A longitudinal studyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

, 11:99

First Online: 01 December 2011Received: 26 June 2011Accepted: 01 December 2011


BackgroundThe practice of Kangaroo Mother Care KMC is life saving in babies weighing less than 2000 g. Little is known about mothers- continued unsupervised practice after discharge from hospitals. This study aimed to evaluate its in-hospital and continued practice in the community among mothers of low birth weight LBW infants discharged from two hospitals in Kumasi, Ghana.

MethodsA longitudinal study of 202 mothers and their inpatient LBW neonates was conducted from November 2009 to May 2010. Mothers were interviewed at recruitment to ascertain their knowledge of KMC, and then oriented on its practice. After discharge, the mothers reported at weekly intervals for four follow up visits where data about their perceptions, attitudes and practices of KMC were recorded. A repeated measure logistic regression analysis was done to assess variability in the binary responses at the various reviews visits.

ResultsAt recruitment 23 11.4%, 95%CI: 7.4 to 16.6% mothers knew about KMC. At discharge 95.5% were willing to continue KMC at home with 93.1% willing to practice at night. 95.5% thought KMC was beneficial to them and 96.0% beneficial to their babies. 98.0% would recommend KMC to other mothers with 71.8% willing to practice KMC outdoors.

At first follow up visit 99.5% 181 were still practicing either intermittent or continuous KMC. This proportion did not change significantly over the four weeks OR: 1.4, 95%CI: 0.6 to 3.3, p-value: 0.333. Over the four weeks, increasingly more mothers practiced KMC at night OR: 1.7, 95%CI: 1.2 to 2.6, p = 0.005, outside their homes OR: 2.4, 95%CI: 1.7 to 3.3, p < 0.001 and received spousal help OR: 1.6, 95%CI: 1.1 to 2.4, p = 0.007. Household chores and potentially negative community perceptions of KMC did not affect its practice with odds of 0.8 95%CI: 0.5 to 1.2, p = 0.282 and 1.0 95%CI: 0.6 to 1.7, p = 0.934 respectively. During the follow-up period the neonates gained 23.7 sg 95%CI: 22.6 g to 24.7 g per day.

ConclusionMaternal knowledge of KMC was low at outset. Once initiated mothers continued practicing KMC in hospital and at home with their infants gaining optimal weight. Continued KMC practice was not affected by perceived community attitudes.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2393-11-99 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Samuel B Nguah - Priscilla NL Wobil - Regina Obeng - Ayi Yakubu - Kate J Kerber - Joy E Lawn - Gyikua Plange-Rhule


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