Breastfeeding and the responsibilities of GPs: a qualitative study of general practice registrars

Brodribb, Wendy, Jackson, Claire, Fallon, Anthony and Hegney, Desley (2007) Breastfeeding and the responsibilities of GPs: a qualitative study of general practice registrars. Australian Family Physician, 36 4: 283-285.

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Author Brodribb, Wendy
Jackson, Claire
Fallon, Anthony
Hegney, Desley
Title Breastfeeding and the responsibilities of GPs: a qualitative study of general practice registrars
Journal name Australian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-8495
Publication date 2007-03-29
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 36
Issue 4
Start page 283
End page 285
Total pages 3
Editor R. Watson
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
321209 Family Care
730204 Child health
730201 Women's health
Abstract The most recent National Health Survey reports that more than 80% of women initiate breastfeeding, while recent studies describe initiation rates of more than 90%. Yet fewer than 50% of women continue to breastfeed for 6 months or longer. This is at odds with National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations that 80% of infants be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Women are more likely to initiate and continue to breastfeed if their doctor supports and encourages them to do so. Conversely, women perceive a neutral attitude by doctors toward breastfeeding to be similar to a negative attitude. Therefore, while doctors may not perceive their support or encouragement to be a determining factor in a woman’s breastfeeding decisions, women often place great emphasis on their GP's attitude to breastfeeding and are much more likely to think that information provided by a doctor is important. No previous research in Australia has addressed the issue of how GPs perceive their roles and responsibilities regarding breastfeeding. As part of a larger research project investigating the breastfeeding skills and knowledge of general practice registrars, this article reports the results of qualitative interviews with eight general practice registrars and their views and beliefs about GPs’ responsibilities to breastfeeding women.
Keyword breastfeeding
attitudes
general practitioners
GPs
doctors
References 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Breastfeeding in Australia 2001, 2003. Available at www. abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@nsf/Look up/4810.0.55.001Main+Features12001?OpenDocument. (Accessed March 2006). 2. Graham KI, Scott JA, Binns CW, Oddy WH. National targets for breastfeeding at hospital discharge have been achieved in Perth. Acta Paediatr 2005;94:352–6. 3. Hegney D, Fallon T, O’Brien M, et al. The Toowoomba infant feeding support service project: report on phase 1 – a longitudinal needs analysis of breastfeeding behaviours and supports in the Toowoomba region. Toowoomba: University of Southern Queensland/ University of Queensland; 2003. 4. Blyth RJ, Creedy DK, Dennis CL, et al. Breastfeeding duration in an Australian population: the influence of modifiable antenatal factors. J Hum Lact 2004;20:30–8. 5. National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary guidelines for children and adolescents in Australia incorporating the infant feeding guidelines for health workers. Canberra: Australian Government Printing Service, 2003. 6. Counsilmann JJ, Mackay EV, Copeland RM. Bivariate analyses of attitudes towards breastfeeding. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 1983;23:208–15. 7. Li L, Zhang M, Scott JA, Binns CW. Factors associated with the initiation and duration of breastfeeding by Chinese mothers in Perth, Western Australia. J Hum Lact 2004;20:188–95. 8. DiGirolamo AM, Grummer-Strawn LM, Fein SB. Do perceived attitudes of physicians and hospital staff affect breastfeeding decisions? Birth 2003;30:94–100. 9. Coreil J, Bryant CA, Westover BJ, Bailey D. Health professionals and breastfeeding counseling: client and provider views. J Hum Lact 1995;11:265–71. 10. Taveras EM, Li R, Grummer-Strawn L, et al. Mothers’ and clinicians’ perspectives on breastfeeding counseling during routine preventive visits. Pediatrics 2004;113: e405–11. 11. Dillaway HE, Douma ME. Are pediatric offices 'supportive' of breastfeeding? Discrepancies between mothers’ and healthcare professionals’ reports. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2004;43:417–30. 12. Hoddinott P, Pill R. A qualitative study of women’s views about how health professionals communicate about infant feeding. Health Expect 2000;3:224–33. 13. Graffy J, Taylor J. What information, advice, and support do women want with breastfeeding? Birth 2005;32:179–86. 14. Kieffer EC, Novotny R, Welch KB, Mor JM, Thiele M. Health practitioners should consider parity when counseling mothers on decisions about infant feeding methods. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;97:1313–6. 15. Scott JA, Landers MC, Hughes RM, Binns CW. Factors associated with breastfeeding at discharge and duration of breastfeeding. J Paediatr Child Health 2001;37:254– 61. 16. Moreland J, Coombs J. Promoting and supporting breast-feeding. Am Fam Physician 2000;61:2093–100, 2103–4. 17. Meyers D. Promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Am Fam Physician 2001;64:931–2. 18. Graffy J. Breastfeeding: the GP’s role. Practitioner 1992;236:322–4. 19. Gunn J, Lumley J, Young D. Visits to medical practitioners in the first 6 months of life. J Paediatr Child Health 1996;32:162–6. 19. Gunn J, Lumley J, Young D. Visits to medical practitioners in the first 6 months of life. J Paediatr Child Health 1996;32:162-6.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes © 2007 Australian Family Physician. Reproduced with permission from The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Text and images copyright of Australian Family Physician. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

 
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