Factors associated with breastfeeding support from health care professionals by implementing a Clinical Practice Guideline

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BackgroundThe prevalence and duration of breastfeeding are at low levels and may be improved by the support of health care professionals. Our objective was to determine the effect of implementing a breastfeeding clinical practice guideline on factors associated with breastfeeding support by health care professionals, adopting a Theory of Planned Behavior approach.MethodsWe conducted an observational, cross-sectional study during 2016 in a health area with implemented clinical practice guideline on breastfeeding, comparing the results with data from a previous cross-sectional study (2011) in the same area, in a standard-care area, and in a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)-accredited area. A validated questionnaire (four scales: attitudes, beliefs, subjective norms, and behavioral intention) was completed by professionals in each area. Descriptive analysis was followed by comparisons among the different settings using the chi-square test.ResultsIn the area with the implemented clinical practice guideline, the professionals scored significantly higher in subjective norms and beliefs than had been recorded in 2011 (preimplementation), and their scores for all four scales were significantly higher than in the standard-care area. Professionals obtained significantly higher scores for subjective norms in the BFHI-accredited area than in the other settings.ConclusionsClinical practice guideline implementation improved the responses of professionals on breastfeeding support in subjective norms and beliefs scales. There is a need for activities to assist breastfeeding in a practical manner and for more effective measures to ensure compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

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