Dr. Ashish Joshi, assistant dean for students at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy along with colleagues have published a manuscript evaluating an interactive, computer based education program on breastfeeding. The work was published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics.
[Photo: Dr. Ashish Joshi]
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an interactive, computer based, bilingual breastfeeding educational program on breastfeeding knowledge, self-efficacy and intent to breastfeed among rural Hispanic women living in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
A two-group, repeated measures quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate the impact of a breastfeeding intervention. Rural Hispanic women between ages 18 and 38 years were enrolled at the Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Study participants were randomized into intervention and control groups, with the intervention group receiving bilingual (English and Spanish) breastfeeding education on a touch screen computer program, while the control group received printed educational material. Study participants were enrolled during their last six weeks of pregnancy, with multiple postpartum follow-up assessments conducted at three and seven days, two and six weeks, and three and six months.
A significant improvement in the breastfeeding knowledge and intent to breastfeed scores was seen over a six month period among all the study participants. There was a gradual increase in the breastfeeding self-efficacy scores till week six followed by a decrease in self-efficacy scores at month three and month six. Breastfeeding knowledge scores differed significantly between the study participants in the control and intervention groups at week six, but not at other time points. The control group showed gradual decline in their self-efficacy scores at months three and six compared to the intervention group that showed a gradual increase in their self-efficacy scores at different time points during their follow up period. However, there were no significant differences in the self-efficacy scores between the intervention and control groups at different points. The control group showed significantly higher negative breastfeeding sentiment scores compared to the intervention group at days three and seven indicating a lower intent to breastfeed.
Hispanic women living in rural settings showed improvement in breastfeeding knowledge, self-efficacy and intent to breastfeed using the computer based bilingual educational program. Results show week six and month three to be the critical time points of intervention so that women continue to breastfeed.