Effectiveness of an integrated breastfeeding education program to improve self-efficacy and exclusive breastfeeding rate: A single-blind, randomised controlled study

Juei Fen Tseng, Su Ru Chen, Heng Kien Au, Roselyn Chipojola, Gabrielle T. Lee, Pi Hsia Lee, Meei Ling Shyu, Shu Yu Kuo

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Low self-efficacy affects new mothers’ ability to sustain breastfeeding. Interventions that increase self-efficacy could improve sustained breastfeeding. Objectives: To develop an integrated breastfeeding education program based on self-efficacy theory, and evaluate the effect of the intervention on first-time mothers’ breastfeeding self-efficacy and attitudes. Design: A single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Setting: A prenatal clinic of a teaching hospital. Participants: First-time mothers with a singleton pregnancy (12–32 weeks’ gestation) and their support partners were selected by convenience sampling (N = 104) and allocated by block-randomization to an intervention or control group. Methods: A 3-week breastfeeding intervention program was developed based on self-efficacy theory. The intervention group received the breastfeeding program; the control group received standard care. Data between groups were compared for scores on breastfeeding self-efficacy, infant feeding attitude, and breastfeeding practice, which were assessed using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale, and a structured questionnaire, respectively. Repeated data measurements were collected at baseline, 36-weeks’ gestation, and postpartum at 1-week, and 1-, 3-, and 6-months. Results: Ninety-three mothers completed the study. Data were compared for the self-efficacy intervention group (n = 50) with the control group (n = 43). Baseline measures did not differ between groups. The intervention group had significantly higher breastfeeding self-efficacy at 36 weeks’ gestation (mean difference (MD): 7.3, p < .001), and postpartum at 1-week (p < .001), 1-month (p < .001) and 3-months (p < .01) with MD: 6.7, 7.9, and 8.1, respectively; differences in scores from baseline were also significantly greater from 36 weeks’ gestation to 3-months (MD from 9.1~9.9, p < .001) and 6-months postpartum (MD: 7.0, p < .05). Infant feeding attitude scores significantly improved from 36 weeks’ gestation to 6-months postpartum for the intervention group (MD from 3.5~7.4, p < .05). Rates for exclusive and predominant breastfeeding postpartum were significantly higher for the intervention group vs control (p < .02) at 1-week (98% vs. 86%), 1-month (100% vs. 90.7%), and 3-months (94% vs. 76.7%). Odds ratio (OR) postpartum for exclusive and predominant breastfeeding was greater for the intervention group at 3-months (OR = 4.7, 95% Confidence interval (CI), 1.2 -18.6; p = .05) and for exclusive breastfeeding at 6-months (OR: 2.82, 95% CI 1.0–8.1; p = .05). Conclusions: The breastfeeding education intervention improved breastfeeding self-efficacy, infant feeding attitudes, and exclusive breastfeeding rates. The breastfeeding education program could be effective for sustaining breastfeeding in new mothers. Trial registration: Registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03807726)

Original languageEnglish
Article number103770
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Breastfeeding education program
  • Breastfeeding self-efficacy
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Postpartum
  • Randomised controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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