The effect of a culture-specific education program to promote breastfeeding among Vietnamese women in Sydney

Int J Nurs Stud. 1994 Aug;31(4):369-79. doi: 10.1016/0020-7489(94)90077-9.


The rate of breastfeeding among immigrant Vietnamese women in Western countries is low compared to those in Vietnam. To counteract this trend, a language and culture specific education program was developed. An experimental design was used to test the effectiveness of this program. The sample consisted of 182 prenatal Vietnamese women. Data collection included questionnaires and interviews. Results suggested that the education program had significant effects on knowledge, attitudes, planned and actual behaviour towards breastfeeding. However, the effect did not sustain until 6 months postpartum. Implications for nursing practice and further research are discussed.

PIP: Data from 194 pregnant Vietnamese women attending prenatal clinics in 3 hospitals in Western and South Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, was collected before and after the culture-sensitive breast feeding education program. The aim was to develop a successful program and to assess the effectiveness. The program was expected to increase level of knowledge about breast feeding, provide more positive attitudes toward breast feeding, to increase intentions, initiation, and continuation at 4 weeks and 6 months. The results indicate an increase in level of knowledge of, attitudes toward, and planned behavior for breast feeding. Of the 108 in the experimental group, there are more breast feeding mothers at 4 weeks than in control groups. The program of video tapes and small group discussion sessions are considered an important feature of the success. The program is unable to sustain breast feeding practices at 6 months postpartum; the reasoning is the unavailability of continued program support and encouragement. Limitations are the selection of a convenience sample, language differences in interpersonal communication, the combined role of evaluator and support person, and the diversity among hospital personnel. The recommendations are that health educators be aware of cultural contexts of breast feeding, that language and program development be sensitive to specific cultures, that counseling include ethnic health workers, that the reinforcing role of health personnel be examined further, that research be conducted evaluating the benefits of teaching methods, and that the relationship between socioeconomic factors and breast feeding patterns be examined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • Nurse Midwives
  • Prenatal Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Time Factors
  • Transcultural Nursing
  • Vietnam / ethnology