Validation of the Arabic Version of the Infant Feeding Intentions Scale Among Lebanese Women

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Abstract

Background:

The Infant Feeding Intentions (IFI) scale was shown to reliably measure maternal intentions to initiate breastfeeding and continue exclusive breastfeeding until 1, 3, or 6 months in English and Spanish but not in Arab contexts.

Research aim:

This study aimed to validate an Arabic version of the IFI scale (IFI-A) and examine its ability to predict exclusive breastfeeding at 1, 3, or 6 months in pregnant Lebanese women.

Methods:

The internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the IFI-A scale were tested on 50 pregnant women (Group 1), whereas its predictive ability was tested on 196 pregnant women (Group 2), who were surveyed monthly about their infants’ nutrition method until 6 months.

Results:

The IFI-A scale’s Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency reliability is .82. Its corrected item-total correlations ranged from .26 for Item 2 (“at least give breastfeeding a try”) to .86 for Item 4 (“will be exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months”). Exploratory factor analysis revealed that it is unidimensional. IFI-A scores correlated significantly with exclusive breastfeeding duration in Group 1 (r = .624; p = .001) and with participants’ breastfeeding attitude (r = .390; p < .001) and previous breastfeeding duration (r = .237; p = .011) in Group 2, thus confirming its external construct validity. In adjusted analysis, the IFI-A scale predicted exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months, albeit weakly (odds ratio = 1.16; 95% confidence interval [0.99, 1.36]), but not at 1 or 6 months.

Conclusion:

The IFI-A scale is a reliable and valid tool to assess maternal feeding intentions and predict exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months in the Arab context. Further studies are needed in other Arab contexts to confirm our findings.

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