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BMC Public Health

, 10:201

First Online: 21 April 2010Received: 21 May 2009Accepted: 21 April 2010DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-10-201

Cite this article as: Allcutt, C. & Sweeney, MR. BMC Public Health 2010 10: 201. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-201

Abstract

BackgroundFor the purposes of this paper -weaning is defined as the introduction of the first solid foods to infants-. Global recommendations by the World Health Organisation WHO recommend that all infants be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life. No global recommendations have been made for formula fed infants. In Europe it is recommended that weaning foods should be introduced between 18 weeks and 26 weeks regardless of whether infants are breast or formula fed. In the United Kingdom it is recommended that solids be introduced at around six-months for both breast and formula fed infants. In Ireland official guidelines recommend that breast fed infants should be introduced solids at 6 months of age while for formula fed infants the recommendation is for 4 months. The disparity between these global, European, UK and local recommendations may be a source of confusion for parents and health care professional based in Ireland. Emerging evidence suggests that babies in Ireland are given solid foods before the recommended age but there has been little investigation of the weaning advice provided by health professionals. Since community health professionals have routine parent interactions in the pre-weaning and early-weaning period and hence are in a unique position to positively influence parental weaning decisions, this study aimed to explore their knowledge, attitudes and advice practices about weaning.

MethodsA mixed-methods approach was used for the research, commencing with a multi-disciplinary focus group to guide and develop a questionnaire. Questionnaires were then distributed in a postal survey to General Practitioners GPs n 179, Practice Nurses PNs n 121, Public Health Nurses PHNs n 107 and Community Dieticians CDs n 8.

ResultsThe results indicate varying levels of knowledge of official weaning recommendations and a variety of advice practices. CDs and PHNs acknowledged a clear role in providing weaning advice while demonstrating high confidence levels in providing this advice. However, 19% of PNs and 7% of GP respondents did not acknowledge that they have a role in providing weaning advice to parents; even though Health Service Executive HSE written literature given to parents states that they should seek information from PNs and GPs.

ConclusionSmall pockets of misinformation about the introduction of solid foods persist amongst health professionals which may lead to inconsistent advice for parents. Further research is needed.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-201 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Claire Allcutt - Mary-Rose Sweeney

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/







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