The impact of a focused education session on the knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour regarding breastfeeding by Saudi women who are pregnant for the first time

Alreshidi, NA 2019, The impact of a focused education session on the knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour regarding breastfeeding by Saudi women who are pregnant for the first time , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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As one of the richest countries in the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has transitioned into a rapidly growing nation socio-economically during the last decade. This progress, however, has resulted in nutritional repercussions, specifically in hasty modification in lifestyle, supply of food, and eating patterns. Data for Saudi Arabia correlates such transformation strongly with decline in breastfeeding. The global policy recommendation for infant feeding from the World Health Organization and UNICEF is that infants should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months. Yet, despite the great advances in healthcare services in Saudi Arabia, data reports a downward trend in breastfeeding practice.

This study was designed to explore the effects of a focused education intervention on the attitudes, knowledge, and intended behaviours regarding breastfeeding by Saudi women who were pregnant for the first time in Hail City.

Study Design
This study utilised a mixed methods design using scored tests (pre-test and post-test) as well as a follow-up test and interview. A pre-test was conducted prior to the introduction of the breastfeeding education intervention, and a post-test was also implemented immediately after the program. At two months after the intervention (postnatally) a follow-up interview was undertaken which included a follow-up test. A sample of 23 Saudi women was selected and assigned to the intervention group, while 10 Saudi women who were also pregnant for the first time were assigned to the comparison group.

A change of breastfeeding practice in KSA can be achieved, but only through a series of small steps. It is vital to start the process of transformation of breastfeeding in KSA by first addressing women’s knowledge and attitude. The intervention in this study was affective in increasing the participants’ knowledge about breastfeeding, and this increase continued at follow up. The intervention shaped participants' core thought on the subject of breastfeeding. Although the measures did not show significant change in attitudes, the women explained in interviews that their attitudes had, indeed, changed, but they still felt unable to act on this due to the constraints of Saudi society and culture. Behaviour changed in the women decided to breastfeed, even though they knew that this could not persist once they had to return to work. Participants stated unequivocally that the breastfeeding educational intervention was beneficial, providing a safe space for women to converse with others about the benefits of breastfeeding and creating an opportunity for word of mouth messages to spread that are vital to societal and culture changes.

The education session was effective according to the test results on knowledge and attitude regard breastfeeding. Narrative data offered additional insights into the barriers to both initiation and maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Long, T (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Depositing User: Professor Tony Long
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 09:14
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:22

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