National survey on breastfeeding knowledge amongst residents in pediatrics in Spain

Marta Gómez Fernández-Vegue Miguel Menéndez Orenga About the authors

ABSTRACT

Background:

Increasing breastfeeding rates is a desirable goal for improving maternal and child health. Pediatricians have a main role in this subject. The objective was to document breastfeeding knwoledge in Pediatric residents, and its relationship with the BFHI (Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative) status of their hospitals.

Methods:

Transversal study with a validated online survey (ECoLa). Polietapic sampling of Pediatric residentes in Spain by strata (BFHI degree) and clusters (hospitals). Estimated sample size was 142 residents. 312 surveys were sent to 21 hospitals. Main variable was the percentage of correct answers to survey questions, it was analyzed with non parametric techniques.

Results:

189 answers (response rate 60%). Global median (Me) of correct answers was 76.9% (95% Confidence Interval ;95CI; 74.2-79.6). There was no difference among first and second year residents (Me=76.9%) and third and fourth year residents (Me=73.1%) (p=0.541). Residents from BFHI hospitals (Me=84.6%) achieved better results than those from non-BFHI hospitals (Me=73.1%) (p=0.002). Variability at non-BFHI hospitals was considerable, where some hospitals showed unacceptable scores. Prevalence of courses was greater at BFHI hospitals (95% vs 52%).

Conclusions:

There are some deficiencies in Pediatric residents’ breastfeeding training. There are hospitals whose residents have an insufficient breastfeeding knowledge. No low scores were found in residents from BFHI hospitals. We consider neccesary to systematize and universalize breastfeeding training during Pediatric Residency.

Key words:
Breast feeding; Pediatrics; Internship and residency; Medical education; Surveys and questionnaires

INTRODUCTION

Breastmilk supplies newborn infants with the specific compounds they need to grow and develop, not only from a nutritional point of view, as breastmilk also provides hormones, anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious agents, cells, growth factors and particles such as DNA and RNA. The close physical contact between mother and child that breastfeeding implies is also essential for the physical and emotional development of the human newborn. Breastfeeding protects the mother-child relationship in the short, medium and long term and strengthens their emotional bond. Society as a whole benefits when mothers breastfeed, unnecessary costs are saved and it protects the environment11. Hansen K. Breastfeeding: a smart investment in people and in economies. Lancet Lond Engl 2016;387 (10017):416.,22. Bartick MC, Schwarz EB, Green BD, Jegier BJ, Reinhold AG, Colaizy TT, et al. Suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and pediatric health outcomes and costs. Matern Child Nutr 2017;13(1)..

Global goals have been established to achieve at least 50% of exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of baby’s life33. World Health Organization, UNICEF. Global Nutrition Targets 2025: Breastfeeding policy brief ;Internet. 2014; Disponible en: https://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/globaltargets2025_policybrief_breastfeeding/en/
https://www.who.int/nutrition/publicatio...
, but in Spain, only 39.9% of infants benefit from it44. Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Encuesta Nacional de Salud 2017 ;Internet. 2018; citado 2019 ene 17; Disponible en: https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176783&menu=resultados&secc=1254736195650&idp=1254735573175
https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/oper...
.

The recommendations need to be accompanied by effective support measures55. Rollins NC, Bhandari N, Hajeebhoy N, Horton S, Lutter CK, Martines JC, et al. Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? Lancet Lond Engl 2016;387(10017):491-504.. This practical support can be very varied between centres and among different health workers. The main reasons for breastfeeding cessation are related to common problems66. Grupo de trabajo de la Guía de Práctica Clínica sobre lactancia materna. Guía de Práctica Clínica sobre Lactancia Materna; Internet; Vitoria: Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco, Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad; 2017. Disponible en: http://www.guiasalud.es/egpc/lactancia/completa/index.html
http://www.guiasalud.es/egpc/lactancia/c...
, such as perceived insufficient milk, difficulties with breast attachment, mastitis or poor weight gain. A lack of training among professionals in the management of these issues, along with a low awareness of the disadvantages of formula feeding can hinder many mothers’ breastfeeding goals.

The BFHI strategy (Baby-friendly Hospitals Initiative) promotes the best practices for care during childbirth and breastfeeding. Its implementation improves breastfeeding and child health rates77. Feltner C, Weber RP, Stuebe A, Grodensky CA, Orr C, Viswanathan M. Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, Breastfeeding Uptake, and Maternal Health Outcomes in Developed Countries ;Internet. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2018 ;citado 2019 ene 18. Disponible en: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525106/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525...
and it is recommended as a minimum standard practice in maternity hospitals66. Grupo de trabajo de la Guía de Práctica Clínica sobre lactancia materna. Guía de Práctica Clínica sobre Lactancia Materna; Internet; Vitoria: Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco, Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad; 2017. Disponible en: http://www.guiasalud.es/egpc/lactancia/completa/index.html
http://www.guiasalud.es/egpc/lactancia/c...
,88. World Health Organization. Implementation guidance: protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services - the revised Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative ;Internet. Geneva: WHO Document Production Service; 2018. Disponible en: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/bfhi-implementation-2018.pdf
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publication...
. BFHI designated hospitals must meet certain conditions stipulated in their “Global Criteria” (summarized in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding Guide). Among the criteria is to demonstrate an exclusive breastfeeding rate at hospital discharge above 75%, a requirement that rose to 80% in 201888. World Health Organization. Implementation guidance: protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services - the revised Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative ;Internet. Geneva: WHO Document Production Service; 2018. Disponible en: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/bfhi-implementation-2018.pdf
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publication...
, and to adhere to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. In Spain, facilities obtain this designation in four progressive phases: 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D99. Hernández-Aguilar MT, Lasarte-Velillas JJ, Martín-Calama J, Flores-Antón B, Borja-Herrero C, García-Franco M, et al. The Baby-Friendly Initiative in Spain: A Challenging Pathway. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):276-82.. Phase 1D only documents the commitment of the hospital administration and the breastfeeding committee to bring about change towards good practice. When a hospital reaches phase 4D it is conferred the Baby-Friendly (BF) designation.

Training health workers in breastfeeding improves breastfeeding rates1010. Holmes AV, McLeod AY, Thesing C, Kramer S, Howard CR Physician breastfeeding education leads to practice changes and improved clinical outcomes. Breastfeed Med Off J Acad Breastfeed Med 2012;7(6):403-8.,1111. Handa D, Schanler RJ. Role of the pediatrician in breastfeeding management. Pediatr Clin North Am 2013;60(1):1-10. and the pediatricians opinion is especially important in breastfeeding support1010. Holmes AV, McLeod AY, Thesing C, Kramer S, Howard CR Physician breastfeeding education leads to practice changes and improved clinical outcomes. Breastfeed Med Off J Acad Breastfeed Med 2012;7(6):403-8.,1212. Grawey AE, Marinelli KA, Holmes AV, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. ABM Clinical Protocol #14: Breastfeeding-friendly physician's office: optimizing care for infants and children, revised 2013. Breastfeed Med Off J Acad Breastfeed Med 2013;8:237-42.. However, scientific literature reports that in many occasions pediatricians and residents in pediatrics are lacking in sufficient training1313. Smale M, Renfrew MJ, Marshall JL, Spiby H. Turning policy into practice: more difficult than it seems. The case of breastfeeding education. Matern Child Nutr 2006;2(2):103-13.,1414. Pound CM, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Attitudes of Canadian Physicians. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):298-309.,1515. Esselmont E, Moreau K, Aglipay M, Pound CM. Residents' breastfeeding knowledge, comfort, practices, and perceptions: results of the Breastfeeding Resident Education Study (BRESt). BMC Pediatr 2018;18(1):170. and they are often influenced by their personal experience1616. Feldman-Winter LB, Schanler RJ, O'Connor KG, Lawrence RA. Pediatricians and the promotion and support of breastfeeding. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008;162(12):1142-9.. The Residency in Pediatrics training program in Spain covers training in breastfeeding although not in a standardized way1717. Meek JY. Pediatrician Competency in Breastfeeding Support Has Room for Improvement. Pediatrics 2017;140(4).. Participation in breastfeeding courses is voluntary and dependent on the interest of each resident and hospital.

Since the publication of the most comprehensive report about training in breastfeeding among Spanish residents in pediatrics in the year 20031818. Temboury Molina MC. Knowledge of breastfeeding management among residents in pediatrics. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2003;58(3):263-7., promotion and protection of breastfeeding has improved substantially in Spain1919. Pallás Alonso CR;Breastfeeding in Spain. A commitment by everyone. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):365-6.: the number of BF designated or working towards BF designation facilities has increased and the Spanish Pediatric Association has developed an active Breastfeeding Committee.

The aim of this study was to assess the current state of knowledge regarding breastfeeding among Spanish residents in pediatrics.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

A cross-sectional study was conducted by means of a questionnaire-based survey among Spanish residents in pediatrics. The Residency in Pediatrics in Spain is a 4-year program (residents are known as R1, R2, R3 or R4 depending on the year they are in) and the curricular year begins in June. The survey took place in April-May 2016. In Spain, in the year 2016 there were 1,612 places for residents in pediatrics in 105 hospitals. Of these residents, 70.5% trained in non-BF designated hospitals, 20.3% in hospitals working towards BF designation (Phases 1D-3D) and 5.7% in BF designated hospitals. For a type I error of 5%, a standard deviation of 15.9 points2020. Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. Development And Validation Of A Breastfeeding Knowledge And Skills Questionnaire. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):387-96. and a standard error of measurement of 5 points we calculated a sample size of 142 surveys. We defined three strata according to BF designation, with a proportionate number of residents each. We performed a stratified and cluster (hospitals) randomized sampling. We contacted the Head Resident of each hospital personally and asked them to distribute the surveys among their residents. To improve each Head Resident’s response rates we sent a pre-invitation, a link to the survey and three reminders spread out over 7 and 14 days to their residents. The authors contacted the Head Residents on several occasions to improve response rates2121. Sánchez-Fernández J, Muñoz-Leiva F, Montoro-Ríos FJ. Improving retention rate and response quality in Web-based surveys. Comput Hum Behav ;Internet; 2012 ;citado 2018 ago 20;28(2):507-14. Disponible en: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0747563211002408.. In order to compensate the losses, 315 surveys were sent. We requested the participation of all the residents of each hospital, but, in facilities that had more than 20 residents, we selected a maximum of five surveys per year by randomized sampling to avoid the excessive weight of the large hospitals.

Data was obtained by completion of an online form from Google platform with control of duplicates, no blank questions allowed and direct import of the data to a LibreOffice spreadsheet. We gathered general information about the participants (gender, age, year of residency, previous training in breastfeeding and personal experience in breastfeeding). To measure the knowledge about breastfeeding we used the ECoLa questionnaire (Encuesta de Conocimientos en Lactancia, “Questionnaire about breastfeeding knowledge”)2020. Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. Development And Validation Of A Breastfeeding Knowledge And Skills Questionnaire. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):387-96.. The complete data dictionary as well as the study database and complementary resources are available at aelama.org2222. Asociación Española de Lactancia Materna. Material complementario a la encuesta nacional de conocimientos en lactancia materna en residentes de Pediatría ;Internet. 2019 ;citado 2019 mar 18; Disponible en: http://www.aelama.org/investigacion/conocimientos-en-profesionales/encuesta-nacional2016/
http://www.aelama.org/investigacion/cono...
. It also includes supplementary information on sampling and variables available as additional resources.

We considered the residents’ scores according to their hospitals BF designation and stage of training: first and second year residents (younger residents) or third and fourth year residents (older residents). The comparisons between groups were performed using confidence intervals at 95% (CI 95%) and the hypotheses contrasts were performed using Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests, considering P value with Bonferroni correction p<0,025. We used R for the statistical analysis2323. R Core Team. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing ;Internet. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; 2015. Disponible en: http://www.R-project.org
http://www.R-project.org...
.

The study was approved by the Research Committee of the “Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre” in Madrid. The data was collected anonymously.

RESULTS

We selected 21 hospitals: 2 BF designated hospitals, 4 hospitals working on BF designation and 15 non-BF designated hospitals. Inside 315 surveys that were sent, we received 189 (response rate of 60%). We randomly eliminated 12 answers from two hospitals with more than 20 residents, leaving 177 surveys for analysis.

The socio-demographic characteristics are shown in table 1. We found no socio-demographic differences among the residents according to the type of hospital, however, the residents from non-BF designated hospitals qualified their training in breastfeeding more poorly and their attendance to courses in breastfeeding was lower. Independent of the type of hospital, most of the residents considered the importance of receiving training in breastfeeding.

Table 1.
Sample characteristics

In table 2 the overall percentage of correct answers and percentages according to year of residency program, type of hospital, attendance to courses and personal experience in breastfeeding are shown. Training at a BF designated hospital and attending specific courses are the factors associated with better scores. The percentage of correct answers of residents with personal experience in breastfeeding was 82.7% and that of residents without was 73.1% (p=0.03). The results per hospital are shown in figure 1.

Table 2.
Main results. Score as percentage of correct answers: globally and by sample subgroups.

Figure 1.
Successes percentage by hospitals according to BF accreditation.

The percentage of correct answers to each question of the survey (both overall and stratified) are shown in table 3. It is worth noting that 51% of residents did not know of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (question 20); 50% did not know how to recognize basic warning signs in the breastfed newborn in the first days of life (question 9); 31% was not able to mention quote 2 correct criteria of breastfeeding assessment (question 18); 34% would limit the number of feeds in infants older than 6 months (question 12), and 36% do not acknowledge the nutritional value of breastmilk in young children older than 12 months (question 10). 28% percent of Spanish residents in Pediatrics would recommend limiting the number and duration of feeds (question 2).

Table 3.
Percentage of correct answers on each test item.

The residents that had taken part in breastfeeding courses obtained better results with a median of correct answers 22.3 percentage points higher than residents who had not attended courses (table 2). The relationship between self-confidence in their own competence and the level of knowledge is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2.
Confidence in the own capabilities according to successes percentage.

DISCUSSION

Residents in Pediatrics in Spain as a whole show acceptable knowledge, and higher compared to the results observed 13 years ago1818. Temboury Molina MC. Knowledge of breastfeeding management among residents in pediatrics. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2003;58(3):263-7. and to Canadian residents1515. Esselmont E, Moreau K, Aglipay M, Pound CM. Residents' breastfeeding knowledge, comfort, practices, and perceptions: results of the Breastfeeding Resident Education Study (BRESt). BMC Pediatr 2018;18(1):170..

The improvement of knowledge has been described by other authors: an American revision describes an improvement of knowledge among pediatricians1717. Meek JY. Pediatrician Competency in Breastfeeding Support Has Room for Improvement. Pediatrics 2017;140(4).. It is important to note that the questionnaire used evaluates knowledge and basic skills2020. Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. Development And Validation Of A Breastfeeding Knowledge And Skills Questionnaire. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):387-96. and that as the survey was performed towards the end of the curricular year the R4 residents would obtain their specialist qualification a few days after the collection of data.

We have not found better scores among the older residents. We have not found differences between global scores or in each particular question according to year of residency training. It has been reported that specific training in breastfeeding improves the knowledge of health professionals2424. Feldman-Winter L, Barone L, Milcarek B, Hunter K, Meek J, Morton J, et al. Residency curriculum improves breastfeeding care. Pediatrics 2010;126(2):289-97.,2525. Feldman-Winter L, Szucs K, Milano A, Gottschlich E, Sisk B, Schanler RJ. National Trends in Pediatricians' Practices and Attitudes About Breastfeeding: 1995 to 2014. Pediatrics 2017;140(4).. In our sample, 64.4% of the total number of residents had attended specific courses in breastfeeding, a percentage much higher than among the Canadian sample (48%)1515. Esselmont E, Moreau K, Aglipay M, Pound CM. Residents' breastfeeding knowledge, comfort, practices, and perceptions: results of the Breastfeeding Resident Education Study (BRESt). BMC Pediatr 2018;18(1):170.. This progress in training is likely influenced by the efforts directed specifically at residents in Pediatrics carried out by the BFHI and the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Pediatrics Association. These efforts include national courses at a very low cost, such as the course in Teruel run by BFHI-Spain, which has gathered annually around 90 first and second year residents for the last 10 years. Other training examples are different online educational options2626. Lasarte Velillas JJ, Hernández-Aguilar M-T, Pallás Alonso CR, Díaz-Gómez NM, Gómez Papí A, Fernández Espuelas C, et al. A breastfeeding e-learning project based on a web forum. Breastfeed Med Off J Acad Breastfeed Med 2007;2(4):219-28.. In any case, it is noteworthy that a significant 35.6% of residents refer not having attended any courses in breastfeeding and that the attendance to such courses was a lot higher among residents from BF designated hospitals or hospitals working on achieving the designation compared to non-BF designated facilities. This is probably because, in our country, despite the evidence regarding its importance, training in breastfeeding is not orgname, so undertaking a medical residency in pediatrics does not necessarily imply the acquisition of the minimum knowledge and skills required2020. Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. Development And Validation Of A Breastfeeding Knowledge And Skills Questionnaire. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):387-96., but rather depends on the will of the physician or each hospital1919. Pallás Alonso CR;Breastfeeding in Spain. A commitment by everyone. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):365-6..

In the BF designated hospitals, residents’ knowledge was higher compared to the other hospitals, with a median of correct answers 11.5 percentage points higher compared to non-BF designated hospitals. In the 1D BF hospitals and especially in the non-designated hospitals the dispersion of the scores was large and scores in all ranges were found: hospitals with high scores and hospitals in which the median of correct answers was close to 50% and where none of the residents attain 70% of correct answers. It is also noticeable that among the group of non-BF designated hospitals, the lowest score, at 19% of correct answers, was not considered an anomalous value. This contrasts with the little dispersion among the scores from BF designated hospitals in which the scores were found in a high and limited range. In BF designated hospitals, practically all residents surpass 70% of correct answers.

Other authors have reported differences in health professionals knowledge depending on their personal experience1515. Esselmont E, Moreau K, Aglipay M, Pound CM. Residents' breastfeeding knowledge, comfort, practices, and perceptions: results of the Breastfeeding Resident Education Study (BRESt). BMC Pediatr 2018;18(1):170.,2727. Brodribb W, Fallon A, Jackson C, Hegney D. The relationship between personal breastfeeding experience and the breastfeeding attitudes, knowledge, confidence and effectiveness of Australian GP registrars. Matern Child Nutr 2008;4(4):264-74.. In our study, only 14 residents had personal experience in breastfeeding and the difference (p=0.035) does not allow conclusions to be drawn on this point.

Regarding the survey’s questions, it is worth noting that most residents were familiar with the international recommendations on duration of breastfeeding and knew where to search for information about medications and breastfeeding. We also observed significant improvements in the knowledge of Spanish residents compared to similar questions surveyed years ago by Temboury1818. Temboury Molina MC. Knowledge of breastfeeding management among residents in pediatrics. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2003;58(3):263-7., although, when it comes to knowing the importance of assessing a feed or knowing how to recognize a growth spurt Spanish residents obtain lower scores than their Canadian peers1414. Pound CM, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Attitudes of Canadian Physicians. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):298-309..

Even though the current recommendation is feeding on demand, other authors report worse results in their countries (32.3% recommend limitation in the US1616. Feldman-Winter LB, Schanler RJ, O'Connor KG, Lawrence RA. Pediatricians and the promotion and support of breastfeeding. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008;162(12):1142-9. or 88.2% in Canada); in Spain, the result is worse compared with a similar question asked in 20031818. Temboury Molina MC. Knowledge of breastfeeding management among residents in pediatrics. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2003;58(3):263-7., when only 18.8% defended limiting feeds. 36% percent of residents are not aware of the greater morbidity and mortality associated to formula-based feeding (26% in the US2828. Schanler RJ, O'Connor KG, Lawrence RA. Pediatricians' practices and attitudes regarding breastfeeding promotion. Pediatrics 1999;103(3):E35., 29.9% in Canada1414. Pound CM, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Attitudes of Canadian Physicians. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):298-309.). Only 60% of residents in pediatrics recognize a breastfeeding crisis and would give adequate advice (question 17); and faced with a child who is not gaining the expected weight without other signs of sickness (question 11), 20% would prescribe formula as the first course of action (64% would do so in Canada1414. Pound CM, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Attitudes of Canadian Physicians. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):298-309.). To summarize, residents have a better domain of the theoretical aspects than the practical ones. On another note, it is worrying that an important number of residents with insufficient knowledge feel confident about their competences.

We have assessed the knowledge about breastfeeding in a representative sample of the medical residents in Pediatrics in Spain, using a validated tool2020. Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. Development And Validation Of A Breastfeeding Knowledge And Skills Questionnaire. An Pediatr Barc Spain 2003 2015;83(6):387-96.. The global response rate can be considered good2929. Marchis GD. La validez externa de las encuestas en la web. Amenazas y su control. Estud Sobre El Mensaje Periodís ;Internet; 2012 ;citado 2018 ago 20;(18):263-72. Disponible en: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4213921.
https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/arti...
(details on the response rates per hospital can be found in the appendix) and superior to similar studies1414. Pound CM, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Attitudes of Canadian Physicians. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):298-309.,1515. Esselmont E, Moreau K, Aglipay M, Pound CM. Residents' breastfeeding knowledge, comfort, practices, and perceptions: results of the Breastfeeding Resident Education Study (BRESt). BMC Pediatr 2018;18(1):170.,1616. Feldman-Winter LB, Schanler RJ, O'Connor KG, Lawrence RA. Pediatricians and the promotion and support of breastfeeding. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008;162(12):1142-9..

One of the limitations of the study is that attitudes and communicative abilities were not assessed, reported by other authors as relevant aspects1717. Meek JY. Pediatrician Competency in Breastfeeding Support Has Room for Improvement. Pediatrics 2017;140(4).. It may be interesting to include them in future assessments. Another limitation is that residents from hospitals in phases 2D or 3D were not surveyed. It should be taken into account in new studies, maybe having more strata.

Residents in Pediatrics in Spain are better trained today than a few years ago and probably better than their American or Canadian peers although there are important areas for improvement, particularly regarding practical issues and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the risk of feeding with substitutes. It is worrying that even those with the worst training may see themselves as prepared. All this considered, along with the great disparity in training in different hospitals, shows the need for establishing a regulated breastfeeding training program, with minimum standards within the residency in pediatrics training program.

BF designation appears to have a positive influence in the training of future pediatricians, therefore reinforcing the advancement and support towards this initiative.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. María Teresa Hernández-Aguilar, for her thorough revision of the manuscript and for her appreciated contribution to this work.

We want to thank Pediatrics residents and their Head Residents of the following centers: H.U. de Fuenlabrada, H. Lluis Alcanys, H.U. Ntra Sª de Valme, H.U. Dr. Peset, H. U. Puerta de Hierro, H.U. La Paz, H. de la Ribera, H.U. Lozano Blesa, H. Francesc de Borja, H.U. Sta Mª del Rosell - Sta. Lucía de Cartagena, H. General La Mancha Centro, H. Xeral-Calde, H. General de Granollers, Clínica U. Navarra, H. de Ourense, H.U. Miguel Servet, H.U. Son Espases - Son Llàtzer, H. del Mar - Parc de Salut Mar, H.U. Marqués de Valdecilla, H.U. Insular de Gran Canaria, H. de Mérida.

We are grateful to AELAMA (Spanish Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Association) for openly hosting the study databases on its website.

  • Suggested citation:

    Gómez Fernández-Vegue M, Menéndez Orenga M. National survey on breastfeeding knowledge amongst residents in Pediatrics in Spain. Rev Esp Salud Pública. 2019;93: August 2nd e201908060.

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    Bartick MC, Schwarz EB, Green BD, Jegier BJ, Reinhold AG, Colaizy TT, et al. Suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and pediatric health outcomes and costs. Matern Child Nutr 2017;13(1).
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    Rollins NC, Bhandari N, Hajeebhoy N, Horton S, Lutter CK, Martines JC, et al. Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? Lancet Lond Engl 2016;387(10017):491-504.
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    World Health Organization. Implementation guidance: protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services - the revised Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative ;Internet. Geneva: WHO Document Production Service; 2018. Disponible en: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/bfhi-implementation-2018.pdf
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    Hernández-Aguilar MT, Lasarte-Velillas JJ, Martín-Calama J, Flores-Antón B, Borja-Herrero C, García-Franco M, et al. The Baby-Friendly Initiative in Spain: A Challenging Pathway. J Hum Lact Off J Int Lact Consult Assoc 2014;30(3):276-82.
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    Holmes AV, McLeod AY, Thesing C, Kramer S, Howard CR Physician breastfeeding education leads to practice changes and improved clinical outcomes. Breastfeed Med Off J Acad Breastfeed Med 2012;7(6):403-8.
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    Handa D, Schanler RJ. Role of the pediatrician in breastfeeding management. Pediatr Clin North Am 2013;60(1):1-10.
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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    12 Oct 2020
  • Date of issue
    2019

History

  • Received
    01 Mar 2019
  • Accepted
    10 May 2019
  • Published
    02 Aug 2019
Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar social Madrid - Madrid - Spain
E-mail: resp@mscbs.es