A pilot randomized controlled trial of a breastfeeding self-efficacy intervention with primiparous mothers

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. Jan-Feb 2011;40(1):35-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2010.01210.x.


Objectives: To pilot test a newly developed breastfeeding self-efficacy intervention.

Design: Pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT).

Setting: An acute care hospital located in Northwestern Ontario that is the sole provider of maternity care for the city and referral center for the region.

Participants: One-hundred-and-fifty primiparous women intending to breastfeed their healthy, term, singleton infant.

Intervention: A standardized, individualized nursing intervention protocol was designed and administered to increase mothers' breastfeeding self-efficacy. Participants were randomly allocated to the intervention group or control group using sealed, opaque envelopes. Participants in the intervention group received three individualized, self-efficacy enhancing sessions with the researcher: two in-hospital and one by telephone. Participants in the control group received standard in-hospital and community care.

Main outcome measures: Feasibility, compliance, and the acceptability of the breastfeeding self-efficacy intervention. Other outcomes assessed were breastfeeding self-efficacy, duration, and exclusivity.

Results: Findings suggest that the intervention was feasible; there was a high degree of protocol compliance, and the majority of mothers reported that the intervention was beneficial. Mothers in the intervention group had higher rates of breastfeeding self-efficacy, duration, and exclusivity at 4 and 8 weeks postpartum. However, the differences between groups were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The pilot RCT provided valuable information in examining the feasibility of the trial design and intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Ontario
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires