There is a need to assess the knowledge of healthcare providers on the use of maternal analgesics during lactation; however, valid instruments are not yet available. This study aimed to develop and test a valid questionnaire on the knowledge of analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, tramadol, codeine, oxycodone) during lactation, using a structured, stepwise approach. As a first step, literature was screened to generate a preliminary version consisting of a pool of item subgroups. This preliminary version was subsequently reviewed during two focus groups (midwives: n = 4; pediatric nurses: n = 6), followed by a two-round online Delphi with experts (n = 7) to confirm item and scale content validity. This resulted in an instrument consisting of 33 questions and 5 specific clinical case descriptions for both disciplines. Based on the assumption of an a priori difference in knowledge between midwives and pediatric nurses related to their curricula (known-groups validity), high construct validity was demonstrated in a pilot survey (midwives: n = 86; pediatric nurses: n = 73). We therefore conclude that a valid instrument to assess knowledge on lactation-related exposure to analgesics was generated, which could be further validated and used for research and educational purposes. As these pilot findings suggest suboptimal knowledge for both professions on this topic, adaptations to their curricula and postgraduate training might be warranted.
Keywords: analgesics; breastfeeding; education; knowledge assessment; lactation; midwife; nurse; questionnaire development.