Breastfeeding Attitudes and Knowledge among Sixth Year Medical Students in Jordan

Wadah Khriesat, Manal Kassab, Hiba Bawady, Isam Lataifeh, Nael Obeaidat, Mohammad Khassawneh

Abstract


Background: Previous reports have demonstrated that counseling about breastfeeding can improve the rate and initiation duration of breastfeeding. However, those medical students are ill-prepared for this role. It is unclear whether medical students would provide the knowledge and skills necessary for effective breastfeeding promotion or not in Jordan. The aim of this study was to identify breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge among 6th year medical students in their final year at The Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST).
Methods: A 28-item self-administered questionnaire; containing three sections: knowledge (13 items) attitude (7 items) and demographic (3 items), were distributed randomly to medical students. The random sample consisted of 234 medical students who were in their final year. The questionnaire assessed both breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge.
Results: The results were explained taking into consideration gender and being a parent. Mean attitude’s score for participants without children was 46.7 as compared to 44.0 for those with children. The results showed similar negative attitude toward breastfeeding among both male and female participants regardless of having children or not (p=0.35). This means that there were no significant difference in attitudes toward breastfeeding among male and female students whether they are having children or not. On the other hand, the mean knowledge score was 22.9 for male participants while it was 21.55 for female participants, indicating some degree of breastfeeding knowledge among participants (p=0.035). However, having personal experience with breastfeeding (self or partner) did not increased breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge (p=0.35 vs. p=0.93, respectively).
Conclusions: Medical students have significant educational needs in the area of breastfeeding management and breastfeeding education. Further targeted training is needed to improve both breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge.

Keywords


Breastfeeding, Attitudes, Knowledge, Jordan.

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